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Context-awareness has an increasingly important role to play in the development of wearable computing systems. In order to better define this role we have identified four generic contextual capabilities: sensing, adaptation, resource discovery, and augmentation. A prototype application has been constructed to explore how some of these capabilities could be deployed in a wearable system designed to aid an ecologist's observations of giraffe in a Kenyan game reserve. However, despite the benefits of context-awareness demonstrated in this prototype, widespread innovation of these capabilities is currently stifled by the difficulty in obtaining the contextual data. To remedy this situation the Contextual Information Service (CIS) is introduced. Installed on the user's wearable computer, the CIS provides a common point of access for clients to obtain, manipulate and model contextual information independently of the underlying plethora of data formats and sensor interface mechanisms.