[AfrICANN-discuss] Science fiction becomes reality. Worlds collide. The future is now...or within five years, at least.

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Mon Dec 26 15:43:47 SAST 2011


Science fiction becomes reality. Worlds collide. The future is
now...or within five years, at least.

At the end of each year, IBM examines market and societal trends
expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from
IBM's global labs, to develop a multi-year forecast called The Next 5
in 5.

IBM predicts that over the next five years technology innovations will
change the way we work, live and play in the following ways:

1Energy: People power will come to life

Imagine being able to use every motion around you—your movements, the
water rushing through the plumbing—to harness energy to power anything
from your house to your city. It's already being tested in Ireland,
where IBM scientists are studying the effects of converting ocean wave
energy into electricity. But instead of a buoy to capture motion, a
smaller device that you wear or attach to your bicycle during a ride,
for example, will collect the energy you create.
Learn more

2Security: You will never need a password again

The name "multifactor biometrics" sounds as intriguing as the
thrillers that use it as a plot device. In real life, the use of your
retinal scan or your voice as a passport to verification will replace
multiple passwords for access to information and secret hideouts,
should you decide to accept the option. Your unique biological
identity becomes your only password as multifactor biometrics
aggregate these characteristics in real time to prevent identity
Learn more

3Mind reading: no longer science fiction

Dialing a telephone is considered so last century. Soon, overt
communication with devices might be just as archaic. IBM scientists
are researching how to link your brain to your devices, such as a
computer or a smartphone, so you only have to think about calling
someone and it happens. For example, see a cube on your computer
screen and think about moving it to the left, and it will. Beyond
electronics control, possible applications include physical
rehabilitation and understanding of brain disorders such as autism.
Learn more

4Mobile: The digital divide will cease to exist

Mobile devices are decreasing the information-accessibility gap in
disadvantaged areas. In five years, the gap will be imperceptible as
growing communities use mobile technology to provide access to
essential information. New solutions and business models from IBM are
introducing mobile commerce and remote healthcare, for example.
Recorded messages can be transmitted to quickly deliver valuable
information about weather and aid to remote or illiterate users who
haven't had ready access before.
Learn more

5Analytics: Junk mail will become priority mail

Imagine technology that replaces the unwanted messaging in your life
with the next best thing to a personal assistant. IBM is developing
technology that uses analytics and sensemaking to integrate data into
applications that present only the information you want—and then do
something about it. Combining your preferences and your calendar, for
example, the technology will proactively reserve tickets to your
favorite band's concert when your calendar shows you're free, or
research alternate travel plans when it detects bad weather along your
route, and then tell you where to go.
Learn more

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