Our smartphones are only as smart as the context we provide them. We can use them to Google just about anything, but they need a little help when it comes to understanding our surroundings. That’s why, as useful as a phone may be when it comes to adding a snazzy clutch, bicycle or notebook to your must-have Pinterest board, they’re useless when it comes to locating those items in-store. But thanks to Estimote, that’s all about to change. Welcome to the world of contextually aware apps that are smart enough to always know where you’re at.

Estimote provides our smartphones with a richer awareness of the physical world thanks to its ability to place both us and the objects around us. It uses beacons, small wireless sensors which rely on low-energy Bluetooth, to help orientate our smartphones.

With Estimote’s latest feature, Estimote Indoor Location, it’s possible to give smartphones more precise location awareness than ever before. Using at least four of the beacons and the app, anyone can map an indoor location, whether it’s a shop, gallery or perhaps office. So, when you enter stores, your phone could receive shopping recommendations based on your taste. Enter a museum, and it could send you a self-guided tour.

If you’ve been following Estimote closely, you’ve probably heard about Nearables. These are similar to the new Indoor Location feature and also rely on beacons to pinpoint your device. What makes this new feature so exciting is that it can detect your precise indoor location.

Everything from the way we shop to how we live could get smarter. Just imagine — instead of switching on lights, Estimote’s beacons could detect your location and adjust the brightness of lights as you move from room to room. Or perhaps you’ve just tried on a dress and are unsure whether or not to buy it. Estimote detects that you’ve just put a dress back on the clothes rack and sends a few alternatives to your smartphone for you to try on.

Estimote is pretty straightforward from a developer’s standpoint and is compatible with Apple’s iBeacon, so we’re pretty excited to see the kind of apps it inspires. One thing we do know for sure is we’ll be watching this contextual-awareness space closely.

What do you think about Estimote? Would you use a contextually aware app? Share your thoughts in the comments below.