Hyperlocal Context

How can computers understand the context of what's happening in a space? First and foremost, they need a digital representation of everything and everyone that is present.   Visit our current website — www.reelyactive.com — for recent developments.

Hyperlocal context is a digital snapshot of a physical space and its contents. It combines the concepts of identification, location and time.


Wireless devices typically transmit a unique identifier. Each uniquely identified wireless device can be associated with a person or object, linking their digital information via a URL. Contextual information may include:

  • name
  • social media resources
  • preferences
  • contact information


A Smart Space contains sensors which act as invisible buttons, each representing a specific location. The unique identifier of each sensor is linked to digital information about its location via a URL. Contextual information may include:

  • name
  • geocoordinates
  • street address
  • room / zone


Hyperlocal context includes the timestamp at which the corresponding wireless device transmission was detected by the nearest sensor.

Time is represented using the ISO 8601 standard and is typically measured to the second or millisecond.

Contextual awareness

Hyperlocal context is the foundation for contextual understanding on a human scale. A computer can explore the information associated with all of the devices present within a Smart Space. This exploration may extend across the countless platforms on the Internet. The level of contextual awareness is limited only by the quality, completeness and accessibility of this information.

We cover this topic extensively in our scientific paper entitled "Hyperlocal Context to Facilitate an Internet of Things Understanding of the World".

We support JSON-LD and schema.org as standards for representing people, products and places. Our jsonerator tool facilitates the creation of such representations.

Why does this matter?

Buckminster Fuller

An exclusively-to-be-accomplished, world-around-integrated, computer-facilitated, cosmically compatible accounting switchover will make it popularly comprehensible that we do indeed have four billion billionaires on our planet, thereby publicizing that fact and thereby inducing the systematic release of their heritage to all Earthian humans.

— Critical Path, p.xxvi, 1981

Kevin Ashton

We need to empower computers with their own means of gathering information, so they can see, hear and smell the world for themselves, in all its random glory. RFID and sensor technology enable computers to observe, identify and understand the world—without the limitations of human-entered data.

— That 'Internet of Things' Thing, RFID Journal, 2009

Jeremy Rifkin

What makes the IoT a disruptive technology in the way we organize economic life is that it helps humanity reintegrate itself into the complex choreography of the biosphere, and by doing so, dramatically increases productivity without compromising the ecological relationships that govern the planet.

— The Zero Marginal Cost Society, p.14, 2014

The IoT advances humanity through efficiencies

Hyperlocal Context represents an optimal understanding of the physical world at a human scale


Imagine you could query any location or device by its unique identifier to discover all the people and things that are present: you can! Visit www.hyperlocalcontext.com and search "reelyactive" for instance. The result will be a machine-readable summary of everyone and everything present at our office in Montréal with links to their metadata.

Want your Smart Space to be part of this open Internet of Things experiment too? Contact us!

Our non-commercial, open Internet of Things experiment is made possible thanks to Canada's CANARIE network and DAIR program.


Imagine you could visualize all of the people and things at a specific location: you can! Imagine you could discover live what's being shared via social media by all those present: you can! Visit smartspac.es and see for yourself what's possible with Hyperlocal Context and a little opt-in participation!


www.hyperlocalcontext.com smartspac.es