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Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT - IN JUST A FEW YEARS,

your smart­phone will be a lot smarter than you. Not only will you be per­pet­u­ally glued to it but you will also – ac­cord­ing to the data crunch­ers – be in­creas­ingly gov­erned by it. Re­search firm Gart­ner Inc. has fore­casted that by 2017, your smart­phone will be able to pre­dict things like your next move and your next pur­chase. It will also be able to in­ter­pret your ac­tions based on what it knows about you. These rather im­pres­sive (and some might say sin­is­ter) ac­tions and in­sights will be based on your per­sonal data, which your smart­phone is con­stantly gath­er­ing us­ing cog­nisant com­put­ing. Cog­nisant com­put­ing (yes, we feel your pain, an­other techie term to grasp) is be­ing trum­peted as ‘the next big step in per­sonal cloud com­put­ing’.

“Cog­nisant com­put­ing takes in­tel­li­gent ac­tions on be­half of users based on their his­tor­i­cal data, pref­er­ences and rules,” ex­plains Sandy Shen, re­search di­rec­tor at Gart­ner, in a state­ment. “It can pre­dict user needs and com­plete tasks with­out users ini­ti­at­ing the ac­tion or in­ter­fer­ing with the ser­vice. It can take the very sim­plis­tic for­mat of com­plet­ing a recurring event such as to turn on the wa­ter heater at a pre­set time, or the more so­phis­ti­cated for­mat of call­ing the res­cue ser­vices and con­nect­ing with the doc­tor when an emer­gency oc­curs.” SMART HOMES So that’s the good news then – while your smart­phone is sneak­ily gath­er­ing and analysing the finer de­tails of your life, these in­sights can be used to im­prove it. Or at least im­prove cer­tain parts of it. Gart­ner used the ex­am­ple of your home, ex­plain­ing that cog­nisant com­put­ing “can play a mean­ing­ful role at home be­cause home set­tings are sta­ble with rel­a­tively fixed equip­ment and user be­hav­iour is rou­tine usu­ally and pre­dictable”. By 2015, it notes that cog­nisant com­put­ing will be a key en­abler in smart home so­lu­tions – which is a ma­jor growth area world­wide. PER­SON­ALISED DATA STREAMS Un­sur­pris­ingly, mo­bile apps are a ma­jor en­abler of cog­nisant com­put­ing. The data gath­ered through the use of the apps and the an­a­lyt­ics around it, ac­cord­ing to an­a­lysts, are be­com­ing more im­por­tant with ev­ery pass­ing year.

By 2017, mo­bile apps will be down­loaded more than 268bn times, gen­er­at­ing rev­enue of more than $77bn. As a re­sult, Gart­ner pre­dicts that mo­bile users will pro­vide ‘per­son­alised data streams’ to more than 100 apps and ser­vices ev­ery day. FIRST MOVERS So who is go­ing to be prof­it­ing from all this? As with most races in the realm of data, per­sonal com­put­ing and its myr­iad ap­pli­ca­tions, the front-run­ners are likely to be Ap­ple, Google, Ama­zon and Face­book. They can lever­age their long-es­tab­lished re­la­tion­ships with loyal cus­tomers and users, and draw on their ver­i­ta­ble trea­sure troves of con­sumer data to pro­vide in­no­va­tive tools and so­lu­tions.

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