IBM predicts five innovations for the next five years

As the end of the year approaches, analysts and pundits are lining up their predictions for what’s coming in the next one. IBM is looking a little deeper into the future, and the company has released a video outlining five innovations it thinks we’ll see come to fruition in the next five years. Check it out:

For those who haven’t watched the video, IBM expects we’ll see sensors in personal electronics devices tapped for large-scale environmental data collection, the emergence of interactive holographic interfaces, a tenfold increase in battery life, greater recycling of the heat produced by data centers, and the rise of adaptive traffic systems that make GPS a heck of a lot smarter. Also, CPUs will get faster, GPUs will gain more shader cores, and SSD prices will fall—although people will still complain that they’re way too expensive.

Some of IBM’s predictions are more outlandish than others. Given the progress we’ve seen over the last five years, it seems doubtful than the next half-decade will really better battery life by an order of magnitude. And, while I’d love a holographic display within the next five years, somehow I don’t see it happening.

That said, GPS devices are already becoming smarter and data centers more efficient about how they use energy. The foundation certainly exists for large-scale data collection, as well, although its success may depend more on peoples’ willingness to share information about their surroundings than the technology itself. Thanks to Tested for the tip.

Comments closed
    • ssway
    • 10 years ago

    Good luck with those dreams. In the next 5 years you will be pushing shopping carts through the wastelands and eating corpses while fending for your lives. The dream is over…

      • travbrad
      • 10 years ago

      Happy holidays!

      • indeego
      • 10 years ago

      Duke will not be out, eitherg{<.<}g

      • PenGun
      • 10 years ago

      Yeah I’m playing FNV as well ;).

    • anotherengineer
    • 10 years ago

    I predict that the blendtec blender will be the bestest blender ever known to man.

    Will IT Blend

    §[<http://www.willitblend.com/<]§ edit - ipad lol §[<http://www.willitblend.com/videos.aspx?type=unsafe&video=ipad<]§

    • Bensam123
    • 10 years ago

    Some of these technologies are already here, like recycling heat from data centers and smart traffic systems (although not completely personalized). Some of those other predictions seem rather… far fetched, such as the battery upgrades that we’ve never heard about that will all happen within five years and instantly answer all of our problems.

    Overall this just seems like a poorly thought up PR stunt.

    • ronch
    • 10 years ago

    Does IBM have these technologies under development in their labs or is merely looking at the crystal ball what they’ve resorted to doing lately?

    • ludi
    • 10 years ago

    I predict that within five years, IBM will finally be able to render high-quality 3D graphics.

    • Corrado
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t see why battery increases wouldn’t be at least 2-3 fold. 5 years ago 2 hours was a decent amount of time for your laptop to run. Now we ahve 10-12 hour laptops. In another 5 years we could double that again, that would likely be ‘good enough’ for most people.

      • Buzzard44
      • 10 years ago

      I believe that’s more die shrinks in processing components that’s saving power consumption, rather than battery technology allowing us to store more power in batteries.

      • Stargazer
      • 10 years ago

      Hmm. There are two ways to increase battery life; increasing battery capacity, and decreasing power usage. My first reaction was that they were talking about battery capacity (well, energy density really – you can always just increase capacity by making batteries larger), but it’s actually “battery life” that’s mentioned, and that doesn’t really specify where the improvements are coming from).

      A ten-fold increase in battery life would be very nice (especially if it can be done while also reducing battery size), but a ten-fold increase in energy density would be *awesome*.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 10 years ago

      Laptops run longer because they have had a lot of peripherals removed (modems, CD drives, various expansion slots and devices) and everything is LED backlit as a standard now. There’s not much left to take away while keeping it an actual laptop.

      Sadly, 5 years ago was the Pentium M’s heyday and aside from getting multi-core CPUs to operate at the same power level, laptop platforms on the whole haven’t really gone anywhere from that point.

      They might knock another watt or two off by moving to screens that require no back light at all, but that’s the most I’d expect in 5 years and it’s certainly going to take that long for something to come around and be standardized.

      Let’s hope they really are talking about batteries.

      • Voldenuit
      • 10 years ago

      Agreed. The biggest hog for battery life on laptops isn’t hardware, it’s software. Macbooks get twice as much battery life as windows laptops with comparable hardware (including battery capacity). Tablets running iOS/Android get a lot more battery life per W-Hr than a comparable netbook with windows doing the same tasks, although the hardware plays a bigger part here.

      Combine the two (efficient hardware with efficient software), and10x battery life sounds very possible, as long as we’re able to ditch some of the legacy code and hardware that’s holding current portable devices back.

        • Farting Bob
        • 10 years ago

        Do macbooks really last twice as long using OSX rather than windows? I doubt its that much, and in that example the hardware is known to OSX, not to windows which has to run on anything.

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 10 years ago

          The hang up there is that actual Apple laptops run longer on OSX than Windows, but they don’t run longer than Windows laptops with comparable capacity batteries and hardware.

          I’ve never seen any particular Linux distro to fair better, either. I was hoping Chrome OS would, but the beta test laptops actually have worse battery life than existing Windows 7 netbooks with HDDs.

          You can certainly disable quite a few services in typical Windows installs without making it any less useable, so it’s slightly bloated by default, but not to the extent that the OS has an inherent disadvantage.

          • Voldenuit
          • 10 years ago

          Don’t doubt, look at real world testing:
          §[<http://www.anandtech.com/show/2645/13<]§ The trend has remained consistent with the move to Windows 7 and newer platforms: §[<http://www.anandtech.com/show/3762/apples-13inch-macbook-pro-early-2010-reviewed-shaking-the-cpugpu-balance/4<]§ vs §[<http://www.anandtech.com/show/3889/apple-macbook-pro-13-as-windows7-laptop/6<]§ Of course, under heavy load, OSX and W7 battery lives start to converge as the hardware takes precedence, but it's clear that OSX is being more frugal in idle and low power states than W7. I'm not a Mac fan, but I'd take twice the internet browsing time pls.

      • liquidsquid
      • 10 years ago
    • liquidsquid
    • 10 years ago

    Here are my joyful predictions:
    1. The government in the US on both state and federal level will tax us into uncompetitive oblivion and we start shifting back to riding horses and farming. The middle-class will become surfs to the ultra-rich.
    2. It will all get blamed on “the other party”.
    3. Solar energy harvesting will still suck in the more northern climates.
    4. Holographic p0rn causes mass starvation and poor social skills of young men so it is abolished and outlawed.
    5. Technology-savvy people will still be unhappy with the performance of their cars/computers/digital cameras (if they can spare the money before paying taxes).
    6. Global warming causes folks in the NE US to rejoice for the shorter winter and lower heating bills and NYC finally floating off into the ocean.
    7. Bats will be all gone in the US, frogs and toads next :-(.
    8. Cars/trucks will still be run from gas, and gas will cost a small fortune. Electric cars will still cost more to drive.

      • NeelyCam
      • 10 years ago

      l[

    • geekl33tgamer
    • 10 years ago

    *cough* Someone at IBM’s been smoking something…

    • Buzzard44
    • 10 years ago

    Holograms commonplace in five years? Give me a break IBM.

    In other news, I predict that in five years I’ll get dual-citizenship and become both the queen of England and the president of the US.

    </sarcasm>

      • BoBzeBuilder
      • 10 years ago

      Thanks. Without that sarcasm tag, I wouldn’t be able to tell if you’re serious.

    • Stargazer
    • 10 years ago

    q[

    • yogibbear
    • 10 years ago

    Seems all pretty boring and not worth waiting for. I bet something else will happen that is not expected that is 100 times cooler than any of these predictions.

    E.g. T-shirts that change colour will become fashionable again…

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    “2. Solar energy becomes cost-competitive with coal”

    Concentrated Solar: Yes, it’s already been there, all we need is to build it horizontally and vertically.

    Solar cells: Nog{<.<}g

      • jcw122
      • 10 years ago

      What video were you watching? They didn’t mention that.

        • indeego
        • 10 years ago

        /[<#2<]//Blastdoor's comment belowg{<.<}g

      • blastdoor
      • 10 years ago

      keep in mind that the cost of coal is unlikely to remain fixed…

        • indeego
        • 10 years ago

        Nor is the cost of petroleum, which is used in 99.999% of supply chains on the planetg{<.<}g

        • NeelyCam
        • 10 years ago

        Yes – it’s bound to go up along with chinese demand.

        Wait. I just stated the obvious. FML.

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    Watch @ 3:08

    /[<*[

      • khands
      • 10 years ago

      I’m missing whatever’s supposed to happen there.

      • wibeasley
      • 10 years ago

      The merging accident on the near cloverleaf? I wonder how safe holographic cars will be.

        • indeego
        • 10 years ago

        They were touting how this new-found techno-world will help prevent such accidents/route around, and here they are showing us a visualization of an accident with wondrous IBM technology. I dunno, seems like kind’ve an oversight to meg{<.<}g

      • NeelyCam
      • 10 years ago

      Priceless. Made me smile.

      • ludi
      • 10 years ago

      Nifty.

      • 5150
      • 10 years ago

      You have issues.

      • TaBoVilla
      • 10 years ago

      indee I had to watch that over 10 times to catch it, and I KNEW what i was looking for =) …how on earth..

    • indeego
    • 10 years ago

    Wake me when this video is already RSS’d into my dreamsg{<.<}g

    • Tumbleweed
    • 10 years ago

    Such a dramatic increase in battery life depends on the mass production of certain technologies that already work in the labs. If that happens, then yeah, you could see such a huge increase in battery life right away. It may _seem_ like it will happen quickly, but it’ll have been based on technology in development for a seriously long time.

      • khands
      • 10 years ago

      There was mention some time ago about a virus common in the tobacco plant that could be used in increasing battery surface area by 10x because it can bond to metal or something.

    • albundy
    • 10 years ago

    “IBM expects we’ll see sensors in personal electronics devices”

    you mean tracking devices, right? where corporations can bombard you with personalized spam? isn’t it enough that they lobby to do us enough harm?

    • blastdoor
    • 10 years ago

    Here are my predictions for the next full decade:

    1. Some degree of neural interface with mobile computing devices becomes mainstream (as in iPhone-levels of sales), but does NOT involve any kind of implants
    2. Solar energy becomes cost-competitive with coal
    3. Cars that use liquid fuel will still outsell cars that don’t
    4. Alzheimers will become treatable and/or preventable
    5. Apple market cap reaches 1 trillion dollars

      • esterhasz
      • 10 years ago

      4 and 5 are mutually exclusive…

        • blastdoor
        • 10 years ago

        har har har.

        • TaBoVilla
        • 10 years ago

        touché

      • JSchwetz
      • 10 years ago

      LOL @ #2…

    • crabjokeman
    • 10 years ago

    “Given the progress we’ve seen over the last five years, it seems doubtful than the next *[

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