IBM's next 5 in 5: James Bond fictions to become norms in 5 years

Friday, November 28, 2008

Imagine, what if
  1. Your house siding, windows and paint created enough solar energy to heat your entire home.
  2. You could surf the Internet, hands-free, by using your voice.
  3. You had a personal shopping assistant to bring clothes and accessories right to your dressing room.
  4. Your doctor gave you a personal health forecast based on your DNA.
  5. You could easily recall any conversation from wherever you are, whenever you need [IBM News].
People often say, "Imagination is more important than knowledge". We are not completely sure if our existing knowledge is sufficient to realize those five revolutionary technological imaginations. But IBM seems to be extremely confident to see those "James Bond fictions" to become norms in the near future.

What is next 5 in 5?
"IBM Next Five in Five" is a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years. The Next Five in Five is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s Labs around the world that can make these innovations possible [IBM Press Kit]. IBM also says, "These five innovations will change how people around the world work, play and live over the next five years. But this is not just our thinking, we have included the input of some 150,000 people from 104 countries who took part in "InnovationJam", a recent online brainstorming session... along with insights from our Research labs and business consulting think tank"

1. Healthcare prognosis: more flexible, accessible, affordable:
Genetic mapping will become your healthcare “crystal ball”
  • Computational biology and supercomputing can help determine our expected longevity, the likelihood to develop certain diseases and the impact of daily routines on our health.
  • We’ll use this information to decide which habits we can change to avoid diseases, choose the most effective medications given our genetic makeups, and take other preventative measures that could help us live longer, smarter lives.
  • Advances in genetic mapping will help the pharmaceutical industry change the ways it develops new drugs, to produce medicines that are the most effective for treating your individual needs – rather than focus on the general population.
When our doctors can increase the use of genetic sequencing to map our health destinies and help us adjust our lifestyles, the results will be huge:
  1. Big savings in healthcare costs,
  2. Better health services and
  3. Increased chances for healthier, longer lives – all based on the information each of us carries in our genes. 
2. Micromanaging our environment down to the nano-level: Energy saving solar technology will be built into asphalt, paint and windows. IBM plans reduce the cost of producing solar cells by 50%.
  • IBM is working on breakthroughs in “thin-film” solar cells, a new type of cost-efficient solar cell module which doesn’t use costly and limited silicon. Thin-film solar cells can be 100 times thinner than silicon-wafer cells and can be produced at a lower cost.
  • IBM is working on projects that may help to create brand new thin-film solar cells that could be arranged on a flexible backing, suitable for the tops and sides of buildings, tinted windows, cell phones, notebook computers, cars, and even clothing.
3. The Internet moves to the 3rd dimension: You will have your own digital shopping assistants
Ever find yourself in a fitting room with all the wrong sizes and no salesperson in sight? IBM says, "In the next five years, shoppers will increasingly rely on themselves - and the opinions of each other - to make purchasing decisions rather than wait for help from in-store sales associates."

4.Real time speech translation will become the norm: You will talk to the Web...and the Web will talk back
  • Feel connected at all times. No longer will you be tied to a keyboard and a computer.
  • Enable the underprivileged to create, produce, host and share information and services with others.
  • Examples:
    • IBM MASTOR software was designed to improve communication between U.S. military personnel and Iraqi forces and citizens. It provides bi-directional English to Iraqi Arabic translation. MASTOR works just like a human translator -you talk, and your conversation is translated instantly. It can be used for exchanging simple courtesies to providing support for more sophisticated conversations. MASTOR is also available in two-way English to Modern Standard Arabic and Mandarin Chinese; additional languages are planned.
    • IBM TALES (Translingual Automatic Language Exploitation System) software provides real-time monitoring and translation of Arabic broadcast media. TALES software allows users to search, and then view or listen to, news from foreign language broadcasts and Web sites.
5. Get ready for mind-reading phones: Presence" technology allows you to be found on the network, whether it's a computer network, mobile phone network or any other kind. Presence technology in its current form amounts to instant messaging applications. In five years, however, mobile devices will have the ability to continually learn about and adapt to your preferences and needs.
Earlier, I worked on IBM's WebSphere Presence Server and Instant Messaging technology and I have no doubt that at least this will become a reality in the near future.

Even today, barely 17 percent of the world’s population has access to the Internet. Many factors serve as a hindrance for Internet to impact the remaining 83 percent of the human population: poverty, handicap, illiteracy, a lack of computer knowledge and irrelevance of available content. On the other hand, the cost of a phone is significantly lower than a computer, and the knowledge required to operate a phone is minimal as compared to a computer, especially when the phone is used as a device.

Thomas J Watson asked the world to "THINK". The very word is so powerful that today, it's changing the lives around.

References and further reading:
  1. IBM Reveals Five Innovations That Will Change Our Lives in the Next Five Years
  2. Five innocations that can change our lives over the next five years 
  3. Video on you tube - IBM's 5 in 5
  4. IBM's next 5 in 5 - Press release 
  5. IBM’s ‘High Five’ List of Innovations (that can change the world)


I, Me, Myself said...

No doubts on these becoming reality in near future when IBM is taking initiative.
But as a layman I still think they are hypothetical yet... lets wait :)

Anonymous said...

May be some of the points you mentioned look exciting but only 4 a minute, but in the long run this will take a lot of time and if at all this technology comes only some classes in society would have capability to buy and use machines like this and not all. But most of the points you mentioned look conditional and questinable nevertheless keep writing to bring people into the new world of imagination.

Anonymous said...

The burning problems of the world today cannot be resolved with the technology advancements. We have seen so far what the so called development and technology innovation couldn't achieve in this world. The conflicts between religious groups, wars, terrorism, financial crisis, environmental crisis to name a few are the result of fragmentation in human thinking. The only way out is to look deep into the roots of this fragmentation. I like your caption "What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality", probably close to what J Krishnamurthy says. The dying need of the hour is to let everyone discover their inner strengths of love, compassion and intelligence , lead a life that is more basic, simple and in-harmony with nature.

Manjunath Singe said...

@ Anonymous,
I agree with you. Technology cannot solve all our problems. It's definitely necessary, but may not be sufficient alone.

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