The Contextual Graph

The Multi-Trillion Dollar Digital Network #

Google owns the knowledge graph. If there is any information you want to know, you search Google or use one of Google’s products to find your answer. Services like Maps, Images, Video, Shopping, and Search contribute to this network of information that Google knows about the world.

Facebook owns the social graph. With over one billion users, Facebook has the most extensive relationship network. Facebook knows what music, movies, places, books, food, causes, and people you like. If users contribute the right content, Facebook’s platform has the potential to create an accurate digital representation of your social life.

There is a new graph that will be more valuable than the knowledge and social graph over the next decade. The Contextual Graph, a term coined by Shane Patterson, is the relationship between you and every smart hardware device you interact with. A digital profile that connects you, via your mobile device, to anything with a wireless radio. This network learns your preferences and settings, creating a personal relationship between you and and of your digital hardware.

For example, imagine setting up your newly purchased car so that every time you enter your car the mirrors, seats, radio, and climate control are automatically configured to your favorite preferences. Now imagine going to rent a car, opening the door and having the car already automatically configured to your preferences. Taking it one step further, imagine having a self driving Uber car pick you up and upon arrival, the car knows your climate and music settings so all you do is get in and enjoy the ride. We are moving to a world where every individual will have a personal relationship with their hardware and this relationship will ultimately be stored in the Contextual Graph.

The Automotive market is just one vertical market that has the potential to take advantage of the Contextual Graph. These Contextual Graph preferences also apply to markets like Home, Hospitality, Entertainment, Travel, Health Care and Retail.


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