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In IT, context awareness describes the ability of hardware components and IT systems to respond to user requests based on information about their environment or the context of operations. This term has been specifically applied to the world of mobile applications to describe apps that use geolocational data to create context-aware user services.
In general, context awareness just means having information about the context in which an IT system operates, and using that information in responses. For example, when a computing system has specific locational information, it can restrict the results of searches or queries to data that match that geolocational context. But while location is one of the most excellent examples of context awareness, you could just as easily describe many other kinds of information as leading to context awareness. Computing systems could respond based on image and color, based on things like temperature and humidity, or based on any other kinds of data about their surroundings. Context awareness can be applied to wearable devices, the internet, cloud services and much more.