More than a smart­phone

Pre­dic­tive apps turn­ing your mo­bile de­vice into a pocket per­sonal as­sis­tant

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH - BY ROD CH­ESTER

PRE­DIC­TIVE search sys­tems are turn­ing the smart­phone in your pocket into a proac­tive dig­i­tal as­sis­tant that an­tic­i­pates your needs be­fore you recog­nise them your­self.

For­rester Re­search an­a­lyst Mike Gualtieri, in a re­cent re­port, calls pre­dic­tive apps “the next big thing’’, say­ing they cre­ate “a world of hy­per­indi­vid­ual ex­pe­ri­ence’’.

“Pre­dic­tive apps lever­age big data pre­dic­tive an­a­lyt­ics to pro­vide the right func­tion­al­ity and the right con­tent on the right de­vice at just the right mo­ment for the right per­son,’’ the re­port says.

Pre­dic­tive apps work by tap­ping into data con­tained from mul­ti­ple sources.

Your smart­phone, for ex­am­ple, has a cal­en­dar that knows your ap­point­ments, an ad­dress book that knows your con­tacts, an in­box with cor­re­spon­dence and a GPS chip that can iden­tify your lo­ca­tion.

Com­bine them and a pre­dic­tive dig­i­tal as­sis­tant could fi nd your cur­rent lo­ca­tion to de­ter­mine you are run­ning late for a meet­ing and of­fer to send a mes­sage on your be­half.

Fans of dig­i­tal as­sis­tants say they make a smart­phone smarter, but there are some con­cerns that apps de­signed to pre­dict your moves sit some­where be­tween con­ve­nient and creepy.

Not sur­pris­ingly, search spe­cial­ist Google is a key player in the fi eld with Google Now, avail­able as an An­droid app and a sys­tem built into Google’s search app on iOS, that can sug­gest when it’s time to leave the offi ce and head to the air­port or give you di­rec­tions to get to your next ap­point­ment.

Ap­ple has also made a push into this area with Siri that can re­mind you of a task when you ar­rive at a specifi c lo­ca­tion, such as call your mum when you get home from work.

In the Black­Berry 10 op­er­at­ing sys­tem, the idea of tap­ping into over­lap­ping data sets is built in.

Call up a meet­ing in your cal­en­dar and you can swipe through to the Face­book profi les or re­cent emails from those at­tend­ing the meet­ing.

Some pre­dic­tive apps have a fo­cus, such as Weotta that rec­om­mends ac­tiv­i­ties based on your his­tory of in­ter­ests and your avail­abil­ity, and Tri­poso that makes per­son­alised rec­om­men­da­tions of things to do while trav­el­ling.

Then there is the in­creas­ing num­ber of cal­en­dar apps with ar­tifi cial in­tel­li­gence, such as Cue, reQall, Any. Do’s Cal, Donna and Tempo Smart Cal­en­dar which re­cently launched in Aus­tralia.

Tempo was cre­ated at SRI In­ter­na­tional, the re­search group where Ap­ple’s Siri was de­vel­oped.

Tempo chief ex­ec­u­tive offi cer Raj Singh de­scribes the trend as “the no­tion of as­sis­tance’’.

“Right now, peo­ple think of as­sis­tance as an [ app] cat­e­gory,’’ he says.

“As­sis­tance is defi ned in our world as some­thing that learns about you and it com­pletes tasks for you.

“The cal­en­dar is a state­ment of in­tent. You’re say­ing where you’re go­ing, what you’re do­ing, who you’re meet­ing.

“What Tempo is do­ing is us­ing se­man­tic anal­y­sis or ar­tifi cial in­tel­li­gence to ef­fec­tively clas­sify the events in your cal­en­dar and map them to a set of known in­tent. And based on that un­der­stand­ing of in­tent, sur­face the in­for­ma­tion and ac­tions that we think are most rel­e­vant.’’

As the num­ber of pre­dic­tive as­sis­tants grows, Mr Singh says the chal­lenge will be how to im­ple­ment them with the growth of wear­able de­vices.

“Th­ese are just more screens,’’ he says.

“What we don’t know yet is what is the tol­er­ance for no­tifi cations on th­ese new wear­able de­vices, such as the Google Glass or a watch. And it’s go­ing to be some­thing very user- per­son­alised.’’

Pre­dic­tive apps ... pro­vide the right func­tion­al­ity and the right con­tent on the right de­vice at just the right mo­ment for the right per­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.