Context-Sensitivity by Pirkka Åman


Context-sensitivity is a broad concept, which refers to various characteristics of different media. Roughly said, it means that a medium can 'sense' its surroundings and is able to alter its functioning accordingly. Today's media is usually poor in context-sensitivity or does not have it at all.

Variety of examples can be given. Personal communication device (pda, advanced mobile phone etc.) could communicate with other people's devices to find out their whereabouts and whether they are available at the moment. When moving around in a strange town, context-sensitive pda could find out what kind of restaurants or shops there are near to your location.

Programme on future i-tv is another example of context-sensitivity. Whole programmes or part of them could be effected by the amount of viewers, the hour of the day and so on, bringing surprise factor to viewing experience. There is a potential to a whole genre of context-sensitive programmes. One can just imagine what kind of possibilities this opens up with, for example, chilren's and educational programmes.

In Audio Mood Controller (AMC) and other audio applications context-sensitivity is a must. The system is able to react to different inputs: amount of light, body movements, air humidity, and time, just to mention a few.