MSP Today Expert Feature
February 20, 2013

'Cognizant Computing' Emerges from a Personal Cloud-Driven World

The transition from a PC-dominated world to a personal-cloud driven one is resulting in a new type of interaction between consumers and connected services, according to a new report from Gartner (News - Alert), particularly invisible, sensor-enabled devices.

Consumers are using and interacting with a range of connected, sensor-enabled devices, driven by applications and services to create an environment that is independent of a specific platform or operating system, according to Michael Gartenberg, research director at Gartner.

Cognizant (News - Alert) computing evolves the connected device and personal cloud service into an activity of seamless and frictionless integration connected to sensor-driven ‘invisible’ devices that are optimized for a particular set of functions,” Gartenberg said in a statement. “This data and information can then be tied to other services across larger ecosystems, platforms and operating systems.”

So-called cognizant computing is not a new concept, but rather a natural evolution of a world driven by collections of applications and services that extend across multiple platforms, according to Gartner’s report, “Market Insight: Consumer Apps and Services Will Become More Aware and Less Visible.”

One of the defining trends of cognizant computing is that the devices that drive the experience falls into what Gartner defines as “invisible space.”

“We define this as the combination of devices and services that unite to form an experience that is below the daily threshold of awareness,” said Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner. “In practice, consumers will forget the devices are being carried, worn or used until they need to interact with them for control or to obtain feedback in terms of data or information.”

Invisible and cognizant devices range from wristwatches, key fobs, thermostats and shoes, with personal cloud services at the center of the digital consumer experience, Gartenberg added.

“Combined with increasingly ubiquitous connections, cognizant devices offer new opportunities to drive new device adoption, grow personal cloud services and act as a tipping point for consumer platform adoption,” he said. “As new digital devices decrease in size, tie into existing applications such as home automation and personal fitness, and increase in perceived user functionality as well as overall form, we will see an increase of multiple devices throughout the home and person that will trend into the invisible space.”

Edited by Jamie Epstein