I recently had the pleasure of reading through Robert and Shel’s book and my first impression is, “wow, all this is really happening now?” The book is filled with fantastic stories about real-world companies enabling the “age of context” as we speak. From healthcare to mobile to cars and everything in between, Robert and Shel have “pierced the veil” of a world that is rapidly thrusting upon us albeit very transparently. We aren’t paying much attention to how much data is being collected, and how often, by the sensors that we have come to love. Our smartphones. Our Fitbits. The electronically-laden cars we drive.
Robert and Shel do a fantastic job of navigating us through a technology world that most people don’t even know exists (although, thanks to categories of technologies like wearables they are becoming more aware). They have done a fine job in categorizing this world and then filling the pages of the book with companies they haven’t just heard about…but with which they have visited and discussed.
Where the book lacks, in my opinion, is in more prognostication. Robert is a self-professed, and rightly so, tech guru. He’s paid by Rackspace to cultivate relationships with startups. Besides Musk and Andreessen, I don’t think there’s a more technology-connected guy on the planet. And so when I read it, I wanted more of that. I wanted to hear more of what might come next. Where might the “Age of Context” really change my world…and when?! That is lacking at times. The book, pulling us through this fantastic world, can sometimes gloss over the details we really want to hear. I hope that the authors will put up a website perhaps to provide more detail on some of the fantastic stories they un-earth and what they might mean for the future.
I also had issue with the book’s style. It is purely a personal preference but I sometimes found the prose distracting. There were so many details bouncing around that it became difficult, at times, to keep track of where I was in the “bigger picture”. I think the authors could have done a better job of connecting-the-dots and making it more of a cohesive ride through the “fantastic Disneyland of Contextual Technology” that they took me on when I cracked open the book.
But there is no doubt that I highly-recommend this book. It’s an E-ticket ride (sorry, stuck on the Disney references) in a world of technology that is hiding from us all…in plain sight. Thanks Robert and Shel for uncovering this amazing world and I look forward to frequent updates!