Context Awareness Platform for Android

McLaughlin, M. (2017). Context Awareness Platform for Android (BEng (Hons) Software Engineering Dissertation). Edinburgh Napier University (Liu, X., Owens, J.).



The aim of this project is to research, design and implement a context awareness platform for Android, and make it open source for developers to use in making their own app’s and services contextually aware. Context awareness in computing is when technology can perceive a form of situational awareness, like how humans sense their environment; this allows technology to understand the context of its surroundings, effectively empowering technology with rich information sources. In the context of this project, the goal is to research best practices and existing theory around contextual information gathering and implement a platform that is easily implementable in existing or new Android projects, giving developers access to this functionality without pre-existing knowledge on the subject.

The platform was implemented with all the aims and objectives of the project complete, evaluated and uploaded to GitHub as an open source repository. The platform was developed with inspiration from existing platforms and theories of context awareness in computing, and was built with a focus on making the platform easy to implement in existing and new projects; the features of this project utilise existing Android infrastructure and application programming interfaces, with location, user activity, time and identity contextual information tracking available; Moreover, an application was developed alongside the platform, with the intent of showcasing these features with a fitness tracking application.

A survey was carried out among developers and non-developers. The results of the survey were overall quite positive; developers showed interest in using and contributing the to open source project; with non-developers reporting a positive experience with the fitness demonstration application.
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