In 2006, co-authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel wrote Naked Conversations, a book that persuaded businesses to embrace what we now call social media. Six years later they have teamed up again to report that social media is but one of five converging forces that promise to change virtually every aspect of our lives. You know these other forces already: mobile, data, sensors and location-based technology. Combined with social media they form a new generation of personalized technology that knows us better than our closest friends. Armed with that knowledge our personal devices can anticipate what we'll need next and serve us better than a butler or an executive assistant. The resulting convergent superforce is so powerful that it is ushering in an era the authors call the Age of Context.
In this new era, our devices know when to wake us up early because it snowed last night; they contact the people we are supposed to meet with to warn them we're running late. They even find content worth watching on television. They also promise to cure cancer and make it harder for terrorists to do their damage. Astoundingly, in the coming age you may only receive ads you want to see. Scoble and Israel have spent more than a year researching this book. They report what they have learned from interviewing more than a hundred pioneers of the new technology and by examining hundreds of contextual products.
What does it all mean? How will it change society in the future? The authors are unabashed tech enthusiasts, but as they write, an elephant sits in the living room of our book and it is called privacy. We are entering a time when our technology serves us best because it watches us; collecting data on what we do, who we speak with, what we look at. There is no doubt about it: Big Data is watching you. The time to lament the loss of privacy is over. The authors argue that the time is right to demand options that enable people to reclaim some portions of that privacy.
©2013 Shel Israel (P)2013 Shel Israel
As a lover of technology and a fan of the Jetsons I enjoyed this book. This book is about the future as well as the present. The technology discussed in this book is both exciting as well as scary.
This book is a great listen, especially with Jeffrey Kafer's narration.
Jeffrey allows the listener to digest the information about the future of technology in a way that is enjoyable and allows the listener to get the full meaning of the text.
If you would like to know the future, take a listen and enjoy.
Technically relevant geekinfo.
I especially enjoyed the section on Google glass and how most people are initially opposed to it until they wear one and within 5 mins they want to own one.
Robert Scoble's persona really resonated with me via Jeffrey Kafer. I felt as though Robert was really speaking.
No. I listened to this book while commuting to work and on two plane flights. I prefer to consume audio books in small snippets so I can contemplate what the content is about. Especially with technical content such as this. I even found myself going back and re-listening to some sections to clarify some questions I had.
I enjoyed the book content and narrator. Jeffrey Kafer has a clear and concise voice that is well suited for many book styles. Thank You Jeff!
Yes, I would listen to Age of Contest again. I'm not the biggest fan of non-fiction books but Jefferey Kafer was able to keep me interested.
I was very interested in the section about advances of Context as it relates to the medical field. As someone who has a family history of cancer, any kind of advance detection is a benefit to me.
I liked the way Mr. Kafer kept me engaged in the story. As this was non fiction, the content could have been 'dry' but Mr. Kafer's narrating kept me entertained.
The future is closer then you think
By far, the content was the most enticing aspect of this. I actually had volunteered to listen to this, thinking it was fiction (my fault for not reading the description more carefully) and was initially surprised to find it non-fiction...but the content of this non-fiction feels so much like reality blending in with science fiction that it held my attention raptly the whole way through.
Completely fascinating material. Science-fiction becoming reality in ways that can only make your jaws drop.
I have heard samples of Jeffrey Kafer's performances, but not a long-form as this one. Jeffrey does a great job of delivering the content in a way that draws you in and engrosses you in the material so smoothly that I sometimes found myself forgetting it wasn't him that wrote this!
wanted to, but time didn't allow. It's one of those that you wish your drive was longer so you could keep listening.
I would recommend this book to just about anyone!
I'm an audiobook narrator and I listen to a lot of audiobooks. Happy to share my thoughts on books I've enjoyed.
Yes. This book was really enlightening in terms of where we've been, where we are and where we're headed.
Jeff's narration of this title was easy to listen to, well paced and intelligent.
If you want to get a clear understanding of the state of our digital world, this book is a worthwhile listen.
I can strongly recommend this book with a significant caveat. You must read it within the next year or so. Since the focus is so bleeding-edge, it’s many specific company and product references are aging very quickly. In fact, in the ~6 months since publication, there are already a handful of dated references that remind you how rapidly this industry is evolving.
Beyond that, it’s very competently written. There are plenty of stimulating examples and conjecture for the hardcore tech enthusiast, while still being accessible for the interested layman.
From a vision perspective, I think Scoble and Israel largely get things right, although some of their timelines might be a little optimistic. Companies seem to be progressing a little more slowly in developing competent analytics than many would expect. But then, futurists seem to consistently overestimate software advancements – writing intelligent, context-aware software is proving challenging.
In conclusion, this is a great listen, but make sure you can get to it before it’s stack of supporting examples gets too stale.
The content. Scoble and Israel are well-qualified to speak on the state of technology and where it is heading. I have enjoyed following Scoble's career and this book is a great extension of his career.
Jeffrey sounds professional and is enjoyable to listen to.
Yes, The book is intriguing. It keeps moving and each facet of technology is more interesting than the last. I found many new "apps" and gadgets to research and explore. I loved it.
Robert Scoble is one of the world's greatest tech enthusiasts and an evangelist for all that is new in technology that is changing the world. Shel Israel has a gift for story telling. Together they help paint a picture for the reader and listener of how the world will change and how that change will effect both consumers and businesses alike.
I wanted to listen to this book because it is articulates some of the most important changes in the way the world is moving, whether we like it or not. Much of what they discuss is already starting to happen.
The acknowledgement of the, 'freaky factor'. How will consumers react to the things they might want being available before you even know you want it.
I listened to it over two evenings. If I didn't have children to entertain, I would have listened to it in one go.
Personally, am not sure that listening to a fact-based book is as powerful as reading it. when I read a book like this, I want to read it through but also use Post Its to mark pieces that resonate with me and I can refer back to them. this is much harder to do when your only choice is to listen and navigation is harder.
"How technology will change our world"
Robert Scoble spends his life visiting the most innovative technology companies and talking to the most visionary entrepreneurs. In the Age of Context he distills what he has learnt into predictions of how technology will impact the world and the way we live. The changes are revolutionary, the opportunities are vast and the threats to privacy, very worrying.
It is a very interesting and stimulating read. I would recommend it to anyone whose job is dependent on understanding how the Internet and technology will evolve and what impact it will have on our lives. Not all the predictions will become reality, but if only half are correct the impact will still be huge.
I may listen to this book again but only to review some of the ideas and thoughts on automation
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