*Smartphones are great, but …

You may want to read the paper Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity, by A. F. Ward et al., published in Journal of the Association for Consumer Research (April 2017). DOI: 10.1086/691462.

Based on their experiments, the authors claim that “the mere presence of one’s smartphone may reduce available cognitive capacity and impair cognitive functioning, even when consumers are successful at remaining focused on the task at hand.” The “mere presence” means that users “do not interact with or receive notifications from their phones.”

The authors illustrate their findings with the figure below. It shows that, when it comes to “working memory capacity” and “fluid intelligence,” you are better off if you place your smartphone further away from yourself (a bag is better than a desk, and another room is still better).

mere_presence

If you’d like to learn about so-called ambient displays, which allow you to receive information without smartphones or other screen-based computers, consider taking our course AKIR (in Polish).

*FIWARE Context Broker becomes a Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Building Block

The FIWARE Context Broker, a reusable context-handling component, has been adopted by CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) as a so-called building block: https://www.fiware.org/2018/08/08/fiware-context-broker-launches-as-a-cef-building-block/.

The Context Broker makes it possible to store and access context-information using simple context models. It offers a RESTful API and supports subscriptions and notifications.  Learn more here.

Notably, we offer a FIWARE Context Broker-based lab exercise in our course AKIR (Context-Aware IoT Applications).  The objective is to teach students about FIWARE context modeling and introduce them to Orion Context Broker. The exercise was developed at ZSUT by Szymon Caban, as his BS thesis.