The Economist writes about a coming world of sensors.
By adding sensors to today’s computing and communications technology, sentient computing seeks to take account of a machine’s environment in order to make it more responsive and useful. Sentient computing systems are always on, ubiquitously available, and can adapt to their users. In short, they seek to become real help-mates. To quote a European Commission report, the aim is to create convivial technologies that are easy to live with.
So, instead of having to turn the television on, the TV will know what you want by combining an understanding of what you say, your expression, your gestures and even how you walk. Ideally, the television set will also be aware of the contextsay, turning the sound down if you are on the telephone. And it can recognise you personally, remember what your favourite channels are, and which programmes to record. All this will happen in an environment where computing and communications are as invisibly available as electricity or water.