IBM’s 5 Big Tech Predictions

IBM’s “5 in 5″ forecast are about to get people talking. That’s five predictions expected to happen in the next five years. On that front, it has succeeded.

So here are the five:

  • Small amounts of energy produced in daily life — walking, typing, water flowing through pipes — will be captured and used. Analyst Charles King told TechNewsWorld that this seems like an idea tailor-made for a Saturday Night Live skit.
  • Forget passwords (I already do!). It’ll all be based on biometric information. But as John C. Dvorak points out in a snarky post at PCmag.com, throw out your back and you could be locked out of your bank account.
  • Better sensors will allow for brain control of objects. Obviously, these things already are in the works. On this one, Mashable points to simple version used in the Star Wars Force Trainer, which includes a headset based on electroencephalography (EEG).
  • Eighty percent of the world’s population will have powerful mobile devices. That’s happening. But it also foresees ubiquitous voice recognition and translation capabilities, allowing people of various nations to communicate easily.
  • “Junk mail” will disappear in favor of  filtering that provides only the information you want. That would seem to prevent you from stumbling upon something truly fascinating … but I digress.

The New York Times points out that Big Blue isn’t involved in actually producing these things, but will be happy to provide the software and services associated with them — and at large scale. It quotes Bernie Meyerson, IBM’s vice president of innovation, as saying:

With devices like this at the edge of the network, at the core you will need to have machines that can manage 30,000 complex commands a second and yawn.

So to some degree, this is all just marketing hype. But what do you think? Will these things happen in five years?

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