The Context Toolkit: Aiding the Development of Context-Enabled Applications
Dey, Anind K.
Abowd, Gregory D.
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Context-enabled applications are just emerging and promise richer interaction by taking environmental context into account. However, they are difficult to build due to their distributed nature and the use of unconventional sensors. The concepts of toolkits and widget libraries in graphical user interfaces has been tremendously successful, allowing programmers to leverage off existing building blocks to build interactive systems more easily. We introduce the concept of context widgets that mediate between the environment and the application in the same way graphical widgets mediate between the user and the application. We illustrate the concept of context widgets with the beginnings of a widget library we have developed for sensing presence, identity and activity for people and things. We assess the success of our approach with two example context-enabled applications we have built and an existing application to which we have added context-sensing capabilities.