IBM predicts future of bioenergy, bioinformatics, and machine to machine communication
IBM has unveiled their annual future forecast for the top 5 advances that could change the way we live our lives. The company’s “Top 5 in 5” is based upon the latest research in market and societal trends. This year’s predictions bring science fiction to reality.
In the future, energy consumption will no longer be a buyer-seller relationship between power company and consumer. Based on the idea that anything moving has the potential to create energy, IBM believes that recent advancements in renewable energy technology could bestow individuals with the ability to create power generated by our own actions.
IBM believes that the human body could be a key to providing us with ample amounts of energy. By using “parasitic power collection," energy created through simple movements of the body are transferred and stored in battery devices that could be used later to power parts of your home.
On a larger scale, IBM sees the world’s oceans as a limitless source of renewable energy through wave and tidal power generation. The technology for this type of power collection already exists, but the company is currently working with researchers in Ireland to reduce the environmental impact.
In addition to being a source of electricity for our homes, the body will also contribute to our security in society. The use of biometric data will provide security passwords based upon our DNA. Voice and retinal scans will be combined through programs that will produce secure login information that is based upon a person’s genetic makeup.
Bioinformatics will permeate society in the near future. IBM researchers believe that recent discoveries in the electrical synapses of the brain and how they correlate to actions of the body could be used to help people complete simple everyday activities.
The technology to do this was originally intended as a rehabilitation tool for people recovering from a stroke or other serious trauma that deprives people of having full motor functions. Researchers believe that this technology could be used as a social media device that allows users to share their thoughts as they occur or allow musicians to create elaborate pieces based on what they are thinking about.
Mobile technology will continue to be an integral part of our lives in the future as well. Smartphones have become the lifeline to the world for many. They allow people to perform many of their daily tasks from the palm of their hands. In the future, mobile devices will become more autonomous and provide users with information tailored for their habits. An example of this could be your phone suggesting a healthier lunch option or a cheaper alternative based on the amount of money in your bank account.
The introduction of machine-to-machine based services over the next five years will increase significantly. No longer will people have to establish communication to gain information; systems will initiate the communication and data to the mobile users. The proactive nature of devices could provide individuals with the most up to date information about their finances and health, or other information based upon previous purchases or dining selections.
The future might also redefine junk mail too. Personalized unsolicited emails and notifications that have relevance will become the norm. Information will be collected in context, which will allow sense-making technologies to gather from approved data points (calendars, driving routes, etc.), and provide data that is relevant to the user.
This could usher in an era of “Big Data”. Changes made to data and information distribution will greatly impact what is possible in terms of prediction. Gathered information will no longer be a random collection of data, but a more ordered, semi-pieced together structure. This technology will provide real time feedback and allow users to make changes to transactions before they are completed.