Thursday, December 22, 2011

What Will the Future Bring in 5 Years?

For the past six years, IBM has been issuing their 5 in 5 reports that present their vision of what technologies will mature in the next 5 years and become commonplace.

Their list for 2011 (left) includes innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and interact during the next five years. This year's five in five are:

Energy - People power will come to life; in addition to smaller, longer life batteries we will capture more of our own movements, the water in home pipes, bicycles, and ocean waves to convert it into useable energy.
Security - You will never need a password again; Biometric passwords like retinal scans and voice recognition will become more common so we don't have to remember a dozen different passwords.
Interfaces - Mind reading is no longer science fiction; Keyboards, the mouse, and voice recognition will be joined by another way to interact with computers - tapping into our own brain waves and transforming them into commands.
Access - The digital divide will cease to exist; 80% of the 7 billion people on the planet will have access to technology in the next 5 years.
Analytics - Junk mail will become priority mail. Our devices will gather and use information without our having to ask for it. Booking events, changing our schedules based on the weather, and even online purchases will be done for us automatically based on our known desires and preferences.

The IBM 5 in 5 is based on market and societal trends as well as emerging technologies from IBM's research labs around the world that can make these transformations possible. You can find earlier predictions online to see how accurate they have been in the past.

Click on the heading above to see IBM's video announcing this year's 5 in 5 forecast.

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