Every year since 2006, IBM has released a "Five-In-Five" list that details their predictions for the future of technology. Basically, IBM picks five innovations that will impact the way we live in the next five years.
This year, they look at things like mind-reading, spam, and sustainable energy. Let's take a look into the future, according to IBM.
- People will power their houses with energy that they create themselves. True renewable energy will become the norm, allowing people to power their homes and work places with simple movement - like the turning of the spokes on a bicycle or the running of water through pipes.
- No more passwords. Biometric tools like retina scanners and voice recognition will totally replace traditional passwords, and you'll be able to use these login devices at places like the ATM machine.
- Your devices will read your mind. In the next 5 years, scientists will have discovered a way to link your mind to you devices so that you can just think about calling someone and it will happen. Further down the road, people might just be able to simply think about what they want to say and have it typed out for them on their computers.
- Mobile Technology will help close the digital divide. They predict that within 5 years, 80% of the global population will own a mobile device. communities all over the world will be able to use this technology to access mobile commerce programs and virtual health care.
- Spam will become personal. "Junk mail will become priority mail. In five years, unsolicited advertisements may feel so personalized and relevant it may seem spam is dead."
Not all of the past IBM predictions have come to pass. For instance, we don't quite have mind reading mobile phones yet (predicted back in 2006) and we haven't been able to eradicate the "forgetting" part of aging (predicted in 2008). But some of the predictions have definitely come true.
Two of the first year’s predictions, for instance, have pretty much come true:
We will be able to access healthcare remotely from just about anywhere in the world. Today, through telemedicine, patients can connect with physicians or specialists from just about anywhere via inexpensive computers and broadband networks. Doctors can view x-rays and other diagnostic imagery from thousands of miles away.
Technologies the size of a few atoms will address areas of environmental importance. Nanotechnology is now used in countless fields and industries, including agriculture, biotechnology and sensor networks, enabling us to understand and interact with the natural environment like never before.
Plus, they predicted that users would soon talk to the web, and the web would talk back. Sounds a little bit like Siri and other voice assistants, no?
Which of IBM's 2011 predictions do you see coming true in the next 5 years? Which ones seem just a little too ambitious? Let us know in the comments.