Well it has been a few days after MobiCom and it's time to start blogging it technically.
I'll start with what if I heard of a little earlier would have thought science fiction. And it's ambience/ambiance analysis and discovery mentioned in a paper called "SurroundSense: Mobile Phone Localization via Ambience Fingerprinting" and a poster titled "Highlights: Event Coverage in Mobile Social Networks".
Let's start with the basics before going through them both. First, Ambience is "a feeling or mood associated with a particular place, person, or thing" Merriam Webster. So if you consider the ambience for a place it'll include the lights, sounds and colors in that place, and for a person it might include movement, facial expressions and clothes colors and styles. If you thought about it a little, every person or a place have unique ambience in some sort.
The ongoing research is concerned with creating a fingerprint for this unique ambience and using this fingerprint it can detect the place you're in, people you're meeting and they type of the event happening now.
How are they doing that?
Our mobile phones became a very good set of sensors that are widely spread everywhere on earth. It's capable of detecting most of the data needed for creating the fingerprint needed through it's microphone, cameras, GPS and accelerometer with very good accuracy and the accuracy is still moving forward.
So in the future just by waving you mobile phone around it will be able to decect exactly where you are and what you're doing because that's exactly what the two researches are suggesting; SurroundSense detects the lights, colors, sounds, movement and wifi and creates a fingerprint using the collected data and then compares it the fingerprints database, that way it'll be able to know exactly where you are after of course having an approximation using the GPS. You can review the paper for more details.
It might sound like science fiction but it'll soon be in your pockets!