As so many look back at where we’ve been in 2011, IBM is looking forward at where we’ll likely be in the not-so-distant future.
Today, the company releases the sixth annual “IBM 5 in 5” list of the five innovations “that have the potential to change the way people work, live, and interact during the next five years.”
According to IBM’s own research, “people power will come to life” as kinetic energy created by everything from human activity to heat from your computer is harnessed as renewable energy for homes, businesses, and even entire cities.
12345 may soon be out as the most popular password of all time because “you will never need a password again” but will instead rely on biometrics, or unique biological features such as eyes and fingerprints, to unlock doors, access computers, and even withdraw money.
Jokes about mainlining information or computer mind-melds may also become a thing of the past as IBM scientists in the field of bioinformatics look for new ways to link your brain to your devices so that “mind reading is no longer science fiction.”
Also, advances in mobile technology will lead to much more than an increase photo and status updates as better, faster, and cheaper mobile technologies lead to a brighter future where “the digital divide will cease to exist” for the planet’s 7 billion people.
And finally, turns out that “junk mail will become priority mail” when advertisements become so personalized and spam filters so effective that every offer is relevant to the individual user and no offer will ever really be unwanted.
True life will soon be at least as interesting as science fiction according to IBM which claims that some parts of each of these innovations already exist in its labs in some form of reality or another.