The Engine SDK enables your app to respond to user circumstance in order to deliver a better user experience. This means you have control over using place, time, and other location and user specific cues to directly impact user engagement.
A circumstance in Engine is the unique combination of time, place, activity, behavior, and history that differentiates the ideal interaction between each individual user and your mobile app.
Consider three users at the same coffee shop:
It should be apparent that each of these users represents different challenges/opportunities to your app in regards to delivering a contextually relevant user experience. For example:
The Engine SDK is designed to detect users’ circumstances with minimal network access and efficient use of device battery. Most of the heavy lifting is performed on the device itself, rather than by making costly API calls over wireless networks. Specifically, Engine runs a lightweight machine-learning stack and signal processing pipeline that can be configured to access various sensors on mobile devices. Engine also manages a small cache of Factual’s Global Places data. These tools can be remotely configured to monitor for circumstances that your app has been prepared to handle.
Performing circumstance detection with few network dependencies has a number of advantages:
Engine is empowered to think for itself, but it takes directives from you. Engine has a powerful remote configuration system. The configuration system enables you to:
Engine’s configuration system also enables improved detection algorithms and machine learning models to be made available to devices in the field, without recompiling your app and pushing the new build through the app store.
Engine has access to Factual’s Global Places Data, giving you highly accurate data on venues anywhere your users go. Additionally, you have access to attributes like operating hours, business categories, retail chain affiliations, and local events (available in our General Availability release) that make it easier to construct small, simple circumstance rules resulting in vast scale.
Engine is in Beta. That means it is available to you to use for free. It isn’t feature complete, but new features will be rolling out early and often.