Adaptive techniques are often seen as an alternative to responsive design. However that need not be the case. We feel that certain adaptive techniques can be leveraged to work in concert with responsive techniques.
Once again the goal is to provide a superior experience across a range of devices. The main difference is the server hosting the website detects the devices making requests to it, and uses this information to deliver different batches of HTML and CSS code based on the characteristics of the device that have been detected.
We recommend the use of adaptive techniques where it has the most impact, namely serving images that are appropriate to the capabilities of the device. Only serving the data needed results in a faster loading website and a more pleasing user experience.