January 5, 2012

IBM Five in Five: Smart Tech Predictions

I don't believe in predictions. Technology sometimes scares me (seriously). Why am I sharing these things? Well, IBM released yesterday its Five in Five. It is a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years.

The IBM Five in Five is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM Labs around the world that can make these innovations possible.

What is surprising is some of the IBM Five in Five is suddenly taking root. Take for example in 2008, when IBM predicted that consumers would be talking to the web - and the web would talk right back. You see, the web is now talking.

Here is the list:

1. You will make your own energy: Anything that moves has the potential to create energy. Your running shoes, your bicycle and even the water flowing through your pipes can create energy. Advances in renewable energy technology will allow individuals and scientists to collect this energy and use it to help power our homes, workplaces and cities.

If this would happen in the future, then workaholics should be paid doubled!

2. You will not need a password: Your biological makeup is the key to your individual identity, and soon, it will become the key to safeguarding it. Each person's unique biometric data such as facial definitions, retinol scans and voice files will be composited through software to build your DNA-unique online password. You will be able to log into your mobile phone or have access to an ATM machine by simply speaking your name or looking into a camera. 

Oh, this is nice. I know that for IBM Thinkpad, you can configure your fingerprint/thumb as a password for your machine, rather than nominating combination characters which require you to change every six months.

3. Mind reading is no longer science fiction: Scientists are researching how to link your brain to your devices, such as a computer or a smartphone, so you just need to think about calling someone and it happens. Scientists have designed headsets with advanced sensors to read electrical brain activity that can recognize facial expressions, excitement and concentration levels, and thoughts of a person without them physically doing anything. 

Alright this is scary..

4. The digital divide will cease to exist: In five years, the gap between information haves and have-nots will narrow considerably due to advances in mobile technology. Growing communities will be able to use mobile technology to provide access to essential information and better serve people with new solutions such as mobile commerce and remote healthcare. 

Oh this is interesting. There comes @AteVangie! :) Now, I hope this can help those who don't have access to basic health care.

5. Junk mail will become priority mail: Think about how often we're flooded with advertisements we consider to be irrelevant or unwanted - it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. In five years, unsolicited advertisements may feel so personalized and relevant it may seem spam is dead. Systems will be able to filter and find only the data that’s important and relevant to you and will bring you the information without you having to ask for it. 

This is clever, and I am looking forward to it.

This statement makes me both proud and scared .. “At IBM, we’re bridging the gap between science fiction and science fact on a daily basis", said Lope Doromal, Chief Technologist, IBM Philippines.

Which Five in Five do you think is feasible?