Monday, December 19, 2011

IBM Announces 6th Annual '5 Innovations for the Next 5 Years'" (IBM)

From Giga-Om (by Om himself!):
For each of the past five years, IBM has come up with a list of five innovations it believes will become popular within five years. In this, the sixth year, IBM has come up with the following technologies it thinks will gain traction. Hold on to your sci-fi novels, because some of these are pretty out there. And some of them, well, I wish we had some of them today.
  • People power will come to life. Advances in technology will allow us to trap the kinetic energy  generated (and wasted) from walking, jogging, bicycling and even from water flowing through pipes. A bicycle charging your iPhone? There’s nothing wrong with that, though I think it might be a while before we see this actually become a mainstream practice.
  • You will never need a password again. Biometrics will finally replace the password, and with that, redefine the phrase “hack.” Jokes aside, IBM believes multi-factor biometrics will become pervasive. ”Biometric data – facial definitions, retinal scans and voice files – will be composited through software to build your DNA-unique online password.” Just based on the increasing hours we spend online, I would say we need solutions such as the ones proposed by IBM labs to come to market ASAP.
  • Mind reading is no longer science fictionScientists are working on headsets with sensors that can read brain activity and recognize facial expressions, excitement and more without needing any physical inputs from the wearer. “Within [five] years, we will begin to see early applications of this technology in the gaming and entertainment industry,” IBM notes. It will also be good for folks who have suffered from strokes and have brain disorders. Personally, I’m not sure this is commercially viable within the stated five years.

Here's the press release which is about as state-of-the-art as they get.

We don't post them every year, usually because I'm trying to herd reindeer at the time of the announcement.
2010: "IBM Reveals Five Innovations That Will Change Our Lives in the Next Five Years (IBM)"
2008: "IBM Reveals Five Innovations That Will Change Our Lives in the Next Five Years: Solar technology will be built into asphalt, paint and windows"