Contextual and Social Computing are converging. Three major trends are impacting software business and engineering:
- The rise of the verticals
In the slipstream of various successful, large horizontal (i.e. generic) social networks such as Facebook, a plethora of niche vertical social websites and software has emerged to provide tailored services and value for niches and vertical domains (e.g. PatientsLikeMe, Stackoverflow or LinkedIn).
- The number and diversity of devices is growing
Nowadays, end-user software is running on ever more types of connected devices from smartphones to smartwatches, augmented/virtual reality headsets etc.
- Platform business models and technology profoundly impact(ed) the economics of software development
The Appeconomy enables third-party developers to target a world-wide audience at much lower costs than few years ago. The "app" construct popularized the idea of having a flexible set of small loosely coupled software modules for specific use-cases tailored to the user's evolving needs.
Against this background, Siemens Corporate Technology and sebis set up a joint research project to identidy use cases for vertical social software in niche professional domains and address questions on how to integrate vertical software with shared social features based on a platform/app ecosystem.