The trend has been identified by research firm Gartner as “cognizant computing”; a consumer experience, in which data associated with individuals, is used to develop services and activities according to simple rules.
Services would include such things as alarms, bill payments, managing and monitoring health and fitness, and context-specific ads. Gartner says cognizant computing will have an immense impact across a range of industries, including mobile devices, mobile apps, wearables, networking, services and cloud providers, causing major shifts in revenue and profit flows.
"Cognizant computing is transforming personal clouds into highly intelligent collections of mobile apps and services," said Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner. "Business-to-consumer providers must adapt their strategies to exploit this change to generate new revenue, find new ways to differentiate themselves and foster loyalty via mobile apps."
Companies especially well-positioned to leverage cognizant computing are those in the B2C or business-to-consumer sector and the pieces are in place to help push their development and adoption rapidly forward. Specifically, Gartner says any company in the business of providing a service, using apps or selling devices will be able to use cognizant computing to better connect with customers and to create more valuable products, services and offers.
"Cognizant computing is already beginning to take shape via many mobile apps, smartphones and wearable devices that collect and sync information about users, their whereabouts and their social graph," said Ms Ekholm. "Over the next two to five years, the Internet of Things and big data will converge with analytics. Hence, more data will make systems smarter."
The analyst forecasts that by 2017, smartphones should be able to manage many tasks for us that today are a bit beyond the capabilities of popular digital assistants like Apple’s Siri. She cites such examples as booking our car in for service, changing a hotel booking if our plane is cancelled, or sending information to our doctor about refilling our repeat prescriptions.