Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
IBM Technology

IBM Predicts the Next 5 Years of Computing 93

Posted by samzenpus
from the tomorrow's-tech dept.
SternisheFan writes "Shaun McGlaun of Slashgear writes: IBM has offered up its annual list of five innovations that will change our lives within five years. IBM calls the list the 'IBM 5 in 5.' The list covers innovations that IBM believes that the potential change the way people work, live, and interact over the next five years. The five innovations IBM lists this year include touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell. "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

IBM Predicts the Next 5 Years of Computing

Comments Filter:
  • wharrgarbl (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:03PM (#42315611)

    I wouldn't trust these people to predict what they were having for lunch today.

    • I wouldn't trust these people to predict what they were having for lunch today.

      Especially after they just invented smellavision.

      • I wouldn't trust these people to predict what they were having for lunch today.

        Especially after they just invented smellavision.

        What, they had their part in this [wikipedia.org]? But 1960 hardly qualifies as "just invented".

    • by rwise2112 (648849)

      I wouldn't trust these people to predict what they were having for lunch today.

      No kidding!
      Have they increased their prediction of how many computers would be required worldwide? Is it more than five now?

    • Re:wharrgarbl (Score:5, Interesting)

      by timeOday (582209) on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:51PM (#42316119)
      Well, they have to make some sort of prediction for business planning purposes; maybe the reason they share them with the world is because they know they can't really do it! But they want some "wisdom of crowds" from people like us.

      IBM is one company that I cannot begrudge for making predictions. Unlike, say, HP, IBM still invests heavily in basic and applied research (from materials science to Watson) and perhaps more than anybody else, seems to get results, with a fairly steady flow of world-firsts. So they are shaping the future and not just dreaming up sci-fi for page hits.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Not to mention making people think something is the next big thing is a pretty big part of making something the next big thing...

    • Yes... the innovative device that can sense its environment and make it better. Welcome to the 1880's IBM.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've seen in a while. samzenpus, stop posting and get the fuck off this site, you faggot.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:09PM (#42315671)

    Past predictions from IBM have shown that IBM does NOT have any special insight into how the unwritten future will play out...

  • by medcalf (68293) on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:10PM (#42315681) Homepage
    Who wouldn't want to carry around a miniature chemical analysis lab? On the other hand, if the phone starts transmitting smell, that would be bad. Just think about the applications for goatse alone.
    • by RicktheBrick (588466) on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:46PM (#42316049)
      I would like to see replacing every central light in a room with a device that would be a camera, speaker, microphone, thermometer, and a device that could smell odors This device would communicate with the home computer. It should be able to detect fire by site, heat, sound, and odor. It should be able to reduce false alarms to zero. It should be able to detect gas leaks by smell. It should be able to detect water leaks and break ins by sound. It should be able to detect the heart beat of anyone in the room by sound. It should be able to detect any problem in the house and have the ability to seek help. It could call the fire department and transmit the smell, heat, sound and picture of any house on fire.
      • I REALLY hope you dont think we should be mandated to install this in everyone's home...
      • Ah, I can hear the privacy activists now.

        "First they ensmartened my electricity meter..."

      • by medcalf (68293) on Monday December 17, 2012 @02:55PM (#42316711) Homepage
        I think you have to separate device and application. If a single device could contain the necessary sensors for all of those things, without a cost premium over, say, an iPhone or top-of-the-line Android phone from today, then why not? The whole reason that current cell phones are so powerful is not the processor, but the array of sensors they contain. It is those sensors that enable things like overlaying data on the world around you, and measuring (approximately) objects at a distance, and acting as a decibel meter, and acting as a level, and all kinds of other things. Is an iPhone going to be the best level for professional work? No, of course not, but it's good enough if I want to check if my new stove is adjusted correctly. Is it going to be a good enough theodolite for precision surveying? No, of course not, but it's good enough to let me figure out how much wood I need to get to build a fence without walking the whole border of the area being fenced.

        Today, we already have all but two of the sensors that would be required for the applications you posit. (We lack thermometers and chemical analysis sensors.) As far as reducing false alarms to zero, that is of course impossible without introducing a lot of error in the other direction. (Google type 1 and type 2 errors.) And the sensitivity of the sensors is of course subject to the same problem. (Heartbeats are very, very, very low signals and would be lost in the noise from any distance, so getting those would introduce a lot of false positives.) And writing the apps to do all the things you want, even with real-world accuracy, is not going to be trivial. On the other hand, once the sensors are there, someone will undoubtedly try it.

        In other words, your pie-in-the-sky set of examples is really not that far out from what is already possible, modulo the problem of balancing false negatives against false positives.

      • by Narnie (1349029)

        I have said device. I call her wife.
        My previous device was called mother. She did all the wife could do, except she had difficulties communicating with the home computer and detecting odors.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          " She did all the wife could do, except she had difficulties communicating with the home computer and detecting odors."

          Really? All?

          • by Narnie (1349029)

            Some key features were degraded when upgrading from girlfriend to the wife license. However, all the features listed in the OP remained.

  • They used Watson to make these predictions .... Seen the movie "Paycheck"?

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:15PM (#42315735)

    IBM has offered up its annual list of five innovations that will change our lives within five years.

    If you look at their own website, [ibm.com] their past predictions seem to have come up short! Sounds like a very good job a guess work!

    Sadly, because it's from IBM, folks will listen and accordingly provide airtime for what I call a very good marketing job. Go IBM!!

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:31PM (#42315897) Journal

      It's probably for the best that they are so lousy at predicting the future... Did you see the one for 2006 where they talked about integrating Lotus groupware with some horrible Second Life clone to produce some sort of dystopian 3d cubiclespace hell?

    • by Pinhedd (1661735)

      Many of their predictions have come to pass in some form or another, just perhaps not in the way they initially envisioned or in a way that is practical and/or realizable.

      Given that IBM is one of the firms consistently doing original research on new technologies that won't be brought to market for 5-15 years (if ever) I think that it's important for them to have some sort of internal guidebook, if only for motivation and inspiration.

    • by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:59PM (#42316225)
      Let's delve into the details a bit. The predictions from 2006 are predictions for 2012. Have they come to pass?

      1. Prediction: "We will be able to access healthcare remotely, from just about anywhere in the world" The prediction describes online health records, and telemedicine.
      Reality: There have been some efforts, in some countries, to digitize records. Many have failed, some are moving forward. However, to my knowledge, none of them have gained wide acceptance (nor overcome the huge privacy and legal obstacles). The current level of web-integration of our records today is not much different from 2006. As for telemedicine? There have been a few more flashy proof-of-principle demonstrations, but nothing has become routine.

      2. Prediction: "Real-time speech translation—once a vision only in science fiction—will become the norm"
      Reality: Microsoft recently demonstrated realtime English-to-Chinese translation. [technologyreview.com] However, the very media buzz about that shows that it is far from "the norm". What we have is just tightly-controlled tech demos, not technology integrated into all of our smartphones ("the norm"). It's likely that existing software will get better (text translation has become amazingly good of late)... but it didn't happen within the 5 years they estimated.

      3. Prediction: "There will be a 3-D Internet", by which they seemd to have meant three-dimensional navigation/environments (virtual-reality-like).
      Reality: Same as 2006, really. We had Second Life, and we still do. We had 3D video-games, and we still do. In fact, this was quite a silly prediction to make in 2006, given how much was already known at that time...

      4. Prediction: "Technologies the size of a few atoms will address areas of environmental importance"; this is a vague prediction wherein they reference "Green Chemistry [wikipedia.org]" as if they invented it (they didn't).
      Reality: I don't know how to judge this one, since they didn't really make a prediction. There's been more research in the area of green chemistry. Nothing revolutionary has happened in the last 5 years, though.

      5. Prediction: "Our mobile phones will start to read our minds", which they clarify as meaning that "mobile devices and networks to (with consent) learn about their users' whereabouts and preferences"
      Reality: We can be generous and say that this has come to pass, in the form of smartphones and their associated ecosystem of apps. As a particular example, Google Now [wikipedia.org] (available on Android 4.1 and later) provides contextual information to the user without the user having to explicitly arrange it. For example it warns you that you have to leave now to get to a particular appointment (based on knowledge of your location, the appointment location, and current traffic). If you're at a bus stop, it automatically pulls up the schedule. These kinds of tricks are neat, and will no doubt become more sophisticated with time.

      So, my assessment is that their past predictions are right about 20% of the time.
      • To pre-empt nitpicks, when I said this:

        The predictions from 2006 are predictions for 2012.

        I'm well-aware that 2006+5=2011. I'm trying to be as generous as possible in my assessment. If you make a prediction at the very end of 2006, for "5 years in the future", then you have until Jan 31 2011 for that prediction to come true (and the results should be visible in 2012). Thus, their 2007 predictions have until the very last day of 2012 to be realized, if we want to be generous.

        Of course even being generous

      • by Shompol (1690084)

        2. Prediction: "Real-time speech translation—once a vision only in science fiction—will become the norm" Reality: Microsoft recently demonstrated realtime English-to-Chinese translation. [technologyreview.com] However, the very media buzz about that shows that it is far from "the norm". What we have is just tightly-controlled tech demos, not technology integrated into all of our smartphones ("the norm"). It's likely that existing software will get better (text translation has become amazingly good of late)... but it didn't happen within the 5 years they estimated.

        The reality is that every Google Android phone can have Google Translate installed (free), and it does just that, "Real-time speech translation". I assume that you are brandishing an iphone and not aware that over 50% of smartphones today have this feature. There are some limitations: you need a fast internet connection and the translation is rather mediocre, but it is on par with best that computers can do today. On the plus side speech recognition is astounding, and I am able to dictate whole paragraphs i

      • by geekoid (135745)

        1) Mostly have succeeded, i'm not sure why you think most have failed. Also, I can down load some really good health care apps.
        ", none of them have gained wide acceptance " Right now many people throughout Africa have access to some form of health care online.

        2) I use google translate work pretty well.

        4) nano technologies is being used pretty widely in 'green' technologies, a lot more then in 2006.

        " Nothing revolutionary has happened in the last 5 years,"
        haha, seriously? pay attention.

    • Did you read it? lets go back to 2006, 5 full years:

      "We will be able to access healthcare remotely, from just about anywhere in the world."
      Can do.

      "Real-time speech translation—once a vision only in science fiction—will become the norm"
      Can do.

      "There will be a 3-D Internet"
      There is.

      "Technologies the size of a few atoms will address areas of environmental importance"
      This is happening

      "Our mobile phones will start to read our minds"
      Predictive computer is now in many smart phones.

      Soooo, not so bad.

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:24PM (#42315837) Journal

    Dammit, I want a flying car, NOT #@&% smellavision!

    Okay, I'll watch (sniff?) your smellavision if you put it in my flying car, deal?

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:27PM (#42315865) Journal

    So, IBM's bold futurists predict that sensors and haptic feedback systems that already exist today will become better in 5 years, and some sort of vaguely-referenced-but-woven-through-all-the-predictions 'deep learning' algorithm that we'll lease from IBM will make something magic happen?

    Jesus Golgotha-poledancing Christ, the future just isn't what it used to be...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Face it, you posted just to say Jesus Golgotha-poledacing Christ. A quick google search reveals you are the first on the internet to type it, so congratulations on coming up with yet another revoltingly offensive quip to further the human race.

  • I predict that IBM will utterly fail to accurately predict anything within the next 5 years
    • I am using this as my list of five technologies not to invest in.
      My breakdown:
      Touch through your phone, No chance.
      Visual recognition for medicine, I doubt it.
      Computers hearing everything, Ever heard of the ACLU?
      Computerized taste, Why?
      Computers that can smell, Why, also redundant (See taste)
      • by geekoid (135745)

        "Touch through your phone, No chance."
        exists in lab, today.

        Visual recognition for medicine, I doubt it.
        exists in lab, today.

        "Computers hearing everything, Ever heard of the ACLU?"
        Whats that have to do with anything?

        "Computerized taste, Why?"
        Why not? Anyways, getting a chemical analysis and then telling you if it fits your likes based on experience is pretty nifty.
        Plus, think of the foodies. They will be able to have exact measurements of what they consider 'good' and when they realize breaking down their sy

  • Malkey [youtube.com]
  • 1. Seems all these predictions are things that the DOD, Justice Department, and DOE would love to have to keep tabs on everyone. 2. How do I get a job as one of IBM's Forward Thinkers. Sweet gig. Predict almost anything and they will take you seriously.
  • by Colourspace (563895) on Monday December 17, 2012 @01:46PM (#42316043)
    I only hope they don't claim that there will only be a market for 5 computers again as there founder said way back when..
  • Anyone know if he's doing a prediction column this year?
  • Because of course IBM has a great history of making predictions. They have always been spot on and leading the market since their inception. [/sarcasm]

    • by kimvette (919543)

      I think you're referring to this:

      Tom Watson, then IBM chairman, said in 1958: "I think there is a world market for about five computers."

      • by bws111 (1216812)

        If you're going to make up dates to attach to made-up (or at least taken out of context) quotes, try to make them at least plausible. IBM introduced the 650 in 1953, and sold 450 of them the first year (2000 total sales when it was withdrawn in 1962).

        The IBM 701 (their first 'commercial' computer) was announced in 1952. Watson visited 20 potential customers, and when he returned he said "we expected to get orders for 5 machines - we got 18".

        There is no evidence he ever said what you quoted.

  • It would be useful for someone to go back and review their previous predictions to see how often they get it right. Any volunteers? http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/us/en/ibm_predictions_for_future/examples/index.html [ibm.com]
  • Smell-o-vision!!!!
  • Can't wait to hang an IBM air freshener in my iCar!
  • by na1led (1030470) on Monday December 17, 2012 @02:23PM (#42316451)
    We will be lucky if we make any advancement at all in the next 5 years.
  • They should have a breathalizer that stops you from texting after 2AM while drunk

  • by erp_consultant (2614861) on Monday December 17, 2012 @03:08PM (#42316885)

    IBM will continue to layoff US workers in record numbers, without making any official announcements of layoffs. IBM will continue to exploit cheap labor in India. Until Indian IT workers start making a living wage. Then IBM will abandon the Indian sub continent for Africa, the final frontier for cheap labor. Once the African labor market can no longer be exploited IBM will cease to exist because of their stubborn refusal to pay anyone a living wage. Anyone except executives of course who will continue to receive enormous bonuses. Fuck you Ginny.

    • After Africa, there's various Arab nations that are actually willing to employ slave labor. Consider Saudi Arabia. Not only is slavery legal (to princes at least), but women's rights are so non-existant, IBM could set up facilities there run entirely by women (with a male overseer), and pay them nothing. What a cost savings that would be! The only problem is that the women would need some kind education/training, which is pretty much illegal, but there are ways (read: money) to get around that.

  • As if just regular spam was not enough, now it will literally stink.....

  • In either case IBM will cease to be a US company by then. As part of their 2015 roadmap they want to earn $15 eps or more. The will require them to abandon nearly all US employment.

  • The predictions say nothing about what we'll be using. They only guess at what will be possible. Flying cars are "possible" (we call them helicopters), but they aren't used by everyday people. The IBM predictions are typical ivory tower statements that have no commercial credibility.

    Maybe IBM is saving the what will be predictions for itself.

  • by tekrat (242117) on Monday December 17, 2012 @03:41PM (#42317363) Homepage Journal

    ...of making such predictions.

    IBM's only prediction that has worked out for them is that "we will continue to sell outdated mainframes and hugely profitable service contracts because businesses have such an entrenched ecosystem of software that they can't dig their way out of it in 5 or even 10 years."

  • by gov_coder (602374) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:32PM (#42318105) Homepage

    1) IBM Rational ClearCase will continue to stink
    2) ClearCase users will develop blindness as a result of continued exposure
    to the eye-sore that is the clearcase-ui
    3) ClearCase will create a new disease in the enterprise called CC-Shingles
    as it infects every application that touches it with needless process steps
    4) Cubicle neighbors of CC-users will soon be donning noise-cancelling ear-muffs to block
    out the loud cursing of the ClearCase users around them
    5) ClearCase market share will continue to dwindle below its already measly 2 % market share
    as more and more workplaces find CC to be the most dis-tasteful source control product ever.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      ClearCase is the best software mismanagement tool ever created, I'm not sure what your issue is.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    1) Applications will use more hardware ID's - you won't be able to use windows 9 without buying the usb-powered penis seat, and you will be required to use it when you log on.
    2) The next range of tablets will allow us to use then as dinner plates. We'll play games with our cutlery/fingers while we eat.
    3) Your wallet will become your phone.
    4) If you use a computer it will be more human; it will tell constantly tell you to stop staring at it, and to go outside and lose a few kilos.
    5) Your next keyboard, it i

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. -- Elbert Hubbard

Working...