IBM offers glimpse into the future (w/ Video)

Dec 23, 2010
Air-powered batteries, 3-D cellphones that project holographs and personalized commutes are among the predictions of IBM scientists gazing into their crystal balls.

Air-powered batteries, 3-D cellphones that project holographs and personalized commutes are among the predictions of IBM scientists gazing into their crystal balls.

The US computer giant this week released its annual "Next Five in Five" list of five innovations expected over the next five years.

Among the predictions are advances in transistors and battery technology that "will allow your devices to last about 10 times longer than they do today," IBM said.

Today's lithium-ion batteries could be replaced by batteries "that use the air we breathe to react with energy-dense metal, eliminating a key inhibitor to longer lasting batteries," IBM said.

"If successful, the result will be a lightweight, powerful and rechargeable battery capable of powering everything from electric cars to consumer devices.

"Better yet, in some cases, batteries may disappear altogether in smaller devices," IBM said, by reducing the amount of energy per transistor to less than 0.5 volts and relying on a technique known as "energy scavenging."

"Some wrist watches use this today -- they require no winding and charge based on the movement of your arm," IBM said. "The same concept could be used to charge mobile phones for example -- just shake and dial."

Also on the cards: 3-D and holographic cameras that fit into cellphones allowing video chat with "3-D holograms of your friends in real time."

Personalized commutes are another development seen by IBM scientists, who are already at work on using new mathematical models and predictive analytics technologies to deliver the best routes for daily travel.

"Adaptive traffic systems will intuitively learn traveler patterns and behavior to provide more dynamic travel safety and route information to travelers than is available today," IBM said.

Human beings will also increasingly become "walking sensors," IBM said, providing valuable data to "fight global warming, save endangered species or track invasive plants or animals that threaten ecosystems around the world."

"In five years, sensors in your phone, your car, your wallet and even your tweets will collect data that will give scientists a real-time picture of your environment," IBM said.

"A whole class of 'citizen scientists' will emerge, using simple sensors that already exist to create massive data sets for research," it said.

Finally, IBM said, scientists will find ways to better recycle heat and energy from data centers to "do things like heat buildings in the winter and power air conditioning in the summer."

"Up to 50 percent of the energy consumed by a modern data center goes toward air cooling," IBM said. "Most of the heat is then wasted because it is just dumped into the atmosphere.

"New technologies, such as novel on-chip water-cooling systems developed by IBM, the thermal energy from a cluster of computer processors can be efficiently recycled to provide hot water for an office or houses," it said.

IBM posted a YouTube video of the five predictions:

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.


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User comments : 34

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twinturbo201
5 / 5 (7) Dec 23, 2010
'Human beings will also increasingly become "walking sensors," IBM said, providing valuable data to "fight global warming, save endangered species or track invasive plants or animals that threaten ecosystems around the world."'

BS. That data is more valuable to big bro/big sis than any scientist.
Quantum_Conundrum
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 23, 2010
Most of these are bold, yet possible within 5 years.

The traffic thing is a bit of a stretch IMO, because it requires huge infrastructure overhauls and implementation in vehicles, and people tend to drive the same things till they literally wear out. You might see this for that top 1% who controls 25% of everythign else, but for normal people, this is more like 10 or 15 years before it's integrated into the whole population. Louisiana just lose a seat of representation after the recent census, and nothing ever got done around here as it was...

They must all be on to the optical array thing and anticipating serious improvements in applications of carbon nano-tubes, as this is the only way I can see holographic video conferencing becoming practical within 5 years.
kuntur2k
1 / 5 (2) Dec 23, 2010
And that guy Bill Gates (Microsoft) that made his fortune touting himself as an "innovator" (compare him with comeback Steve Jobs) has nothing to say?
Au-Pu
5 / 5 (1) Dec 23, 2010
The "biyai" posting above should be deleted

This is a free loader placing commercial advertisements on your site.
trekgeek1
not rated yet Dec 23, 2010
The "biyai" posting above should be deleted

This is a free loader placing commercial advertisements on your site.


I've made some "useless verbiage" comments in recent months. In the past, they were deleted and I was informed, but not anymore. I think the moderators got fired to save money or they were instructed to only intervene when users are verbally harassing each other. In either case, they seem to be gone.
DamienS
5 / 5 (6) Dec 23, 2010
And that guy Bill Gates (Microsoft) that made his fortune touting himself as an "innovator" (compare him with comeback Steve Jobs) has nothing to say?

Yeah, that money grubbing Gates cares for nothing except himself. Oh wait, he set up the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which works in developing countries to improve health and reduce poverty, and in the US to support education and libraries nationwide and children and families in the Pacific Northwest. With an endowment of about $33.5 billion, the foundation is the largest in the US.

Recently, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded US$255 million to Rotary International in the global effort to eradicate polio.

I'm not aware of any major charity donations by Steve Jobs.
DamienS
5 / 5 (3) Dec 23, 2010
I've made some "useless verbiage" comments in recent months. In the past, they were deleted and I was informed, but not anymore. I think the moderators got fired to save money or they were instructed to only intervene when users are verbally harassing each other. In either case, they seem to be gone.

It's true that the moderation rules were way too strict before, to the point of being obstructive and that now a more liberal approach seems to be in force. This is a good thing, IMO, as long as things don't get way, way out of control.

However, if you hit the 'report abuse' link on a post that is obviously spam, it will be removed, eventually. I did so yesterday and by today, they were gone.
FrankHerbert
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 23, 2010
And that guy Bill Gates (Microsoft) that made his fortune touting himself as an "innovator" (compare him with comeback Steve Jobs) has nothing to say?


What the hell do Bill Gates or Steve Jobs have to do with this article? As far as I know, neither have ever been employees of IBM. Buy another iPod and wear it as jewelry if you want to fellate Steve Jobs in public.
typicalguy
not rated yet Dec 23, 2010
3D images in cell phones sent through the allowable bandwiths? Most smart phones already bump against FCC maximum allowable limits for radiation, can you imagine how much power they're going to have to use and how much spectrum will be spent on sending 3D images of videos that can just as easily be sent through a wired home connection. Talk about pie in the sky.
tpb
4.5 / 5 (2) Dec 24, 2010
Energy scavenging and .5 volt transistors are irrelevant on a mobile phone. The two main power hogs are transmitter power, which is determined by distance to the cell tower, the other is the LCD backlight.
You might be able to save some power while receiving.
finitesolutions
1 / 5 (2) Dec 24, 2010
All that was to be discovered has been discovered. From now one nothing new can be added :D
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Dec 24, 2010
However, if you hit the 'report abuse' link on a post that is obviously spam,


They removed all the posts of that spammer that I reported. However they didn't ban it. So it has posted even more since. They spammers are usually banned. I don't know why this one is still around, as it isn't even remotely subtle and all the

WOW ITS That was great BULSHIT WOW

anonymous.bullshit.sucker

Spammer has been banned everytime. Eventually.

Ethelred
Ethelred
not rated yet Dec 24, 2010
Oops.

The spammer is using a different name from yesterday. But I can still find some posts of the previous name. Easy to do since it has not been banned.

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Dec 24, 2010
As far as I know, neither have ever been employees of IBM.
Gates was a business consultant contracted with IBM. He was also their leading vendor with MS DOS. Other than that I don't see much of a connection either.
Inflaton
5 / 5 (1) Dec 24, 2010
3-d holographic display of your friends in real time?

Has April fools day come early?
Quantum_Conundrum
1 / 5 (1) Dec 24, 2010
3-d holographic display of your friends in real time?

Has April fools day come early?


Well, I think recording a "front surface only" hologram is going to be relatively easy, and at the least could be translated into a 3d model as I've described elsewhere.

What secrets they have in mind for an actual hologram projector that can fit on a cell phone, I don't know. Most "moving holograms" i've ever seen are monochromatic and inside a large box.

I know that there are some companies working on technology that will eventually enable cable and other "wired" connections to operate in gigabytes and even terrabytes per second.

The technical specs for 4G is supposedly 100mb/s for wireless, but all the manufacturers are lying, because none of them really meets the specs for it.
I_Dont_Have_A_Name
5 / 5 (1) Dec 24, 2010
dgreyz
not rated yet Dec 24, 2010
BS. That data is more valuable to big bro/big sis than any scientist.


I think you greatly underestimate the value of data mining.Imagine if all that we eat and do gets registered together with our health condition.
With all this data and some clever data mining we could discover things that were practically impossible to find out in any other way.
It could find relations that we never even would have thought of.
And this would be very applicable for finding causes of disease for instance, it might even give more solid results than years of lab tests could give you.
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Dec 24, 2010
http://www.wimp.com/predictingfuture/

-shrug-


Wow. Arthur C. Clarke appears to have understood the applications and benefits of wireless internet better than almost anyone alive today.

Now we just need fully automated production and nano-assemblers.
GSwift7
not rated yet Dec 24, 2010
Energy scavenging and .5 volt transistors are irrelevant on a mobile phone. The two main power hogs are transmitter power, which is determined by distance to the cell tower, the other is the LCD backlight


As far as I know, the highest amp circuit in a phone is the vibration motor. The speaker may be higher amps than the backlight as well, but I'm not sure about that one.

The biggest deal of all five things they talked about is obviously the metal-air battery. If the hopes for metal-air come true, it'll change the world. Check these links out:

http://newenergya...raction/

and

http://www.bizjou...ity.html

ARPA-e is really cool. We should massively increase its funding in stead of EPA carbon regulations.
googleplex
not rated yet Dec 24, 2010
I would say that storing anti matter is cool.
If it has negative mass (as I personally believe) then it would revolutionize transport.
I think nano tech will create more problems than we realize but is still disruptive tech. Battery tech is desperately needed. Our best battery (the lead acid) is hundreds of years old.
FunkyDude
not rated yet Dec 24, 2010
the only thing that seems very innovative or futuristic is the holographic display, there's already a prototype (2D) for a holographic display, do a search for "io2technology"
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Dec 25, 2010
the only thing that seems very innovative or futuristic is the holographic display, there's already a prototype (2D) for a holographic display, do a search for "io2technology"


I would argue that even smart phones aren't really that "innovative". As we see above from Arthur C. Clarke, this concept of communication was clearly around 45 years ago. It just took this long to miniaturize the component technologies.

For all practical purposes, the smart phone is just the natural combination of several different technologies:

Walkman became cd player became mp3 player as technology advanced.

Satellite phones became cell phones as technology advanced. Then they added a "weak" digital camera.

Lap tops got miniaturized to palm pilots.

It was only natural to combine a camera phone, a mp3 player, and a palm pilot as miniaturization allowed.

This really is not an example of "innovation," but rather "integration" via convergent technologies.
Quantum_Conundrum
5 / 5 (1) Dec 25, 2010
People need to realize most traditional jobs and skillsets are quickly becoming obsolete thanks to automation and information technology.

Walgreen's automated pharmacy service is probably better than a human employee, and you could probably run that software on a computer the equivalent of the latest smart phone. This is fast making the secretary/receptionist or any other greeter or middle man position obsolete, and people don't even seem to realize it yet. The only exception are certain classes of positions where people would like to see a human face, even if the human really is inferior to the automated system.
Quantum_Conundrum
1 / 5 (1) Dec 25, 2010
I mean, it's not remotely innovative. When I was in high school, back in 1996, we were standing in a lunch line talking about how long it would be till hand held super computers, and it was generally said to be 15 years away. So here we are 14 years later, and we now have a dual core smart phone that has about 12 times the processing power of the pentium 1 brand, or maybe 8 times the processing power of the pentium 2 brand, give or take, and more ram and hard drive than they even believed possible.

So they are not an innovation at all. They are basicly right on time of what Moore's Law always predicted.

It's actually kinda sad that other companies who were in better position to build and market these things sat around and let Apple do it first, and claw their way back to relevance again...
Quantum_Conundrum
5 / 5 (1) Dec 25, 2010
In another 20 to 25 years, everything is going to be so radically advanced we aren't even going to recognize it.

Individuals will have a PC that is more powerful than the strongest supercomputer in the world currently is, and it will still fit in about the same space.

Nano-assembly, printed electronics, and 3-d printing will allow computer technology to be in everything, everwhere. This degree of cheap, easily mass-producible automation will radically change the way manufacturing and medicine are done, even if the "ideal" nano-technology isn't yet realized by then.

Think about this. You'll even be able to print out printed electronics to mass produce row after row of cheap computers to network together, like a stack of paper, with each sheet being a computer you can put on racks networked together. We'll have this stuff everywhere, and when it breaks we'll just throw it away and make another one with the printer...
M20
5 / 5 (1) Dec 26, 2010
Future ?
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Dec 26, 2010
Some technological advancements are so radical that they make entire sectors of the economy obsolete.

Let's take the cell phone for example.

When the first portable phones were invented they were large and clunky, often needed an external power supply, etc. Most people couldn't afford them, so they still used phone booths and paid to make a call. Remember the 1800-collect and phone card commercials with carrot top were still widely published even not so long ago.

But then, the portable phones got cheaper, smaller, faster and more reliable, and now you can't even find a pay phone ANYWHERE, except maybe an antique store.

This is just one demonstration of how emerging technologies can make entire concepts, even entire sectors of the economy obsolete.

Entire generations will grow up not knowing the meaning of the line, "Here's a quarter. Call someone who cares."
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Dec 26, 2010
Currently, a computer is somethng on your desk, and an ISPs and data centers are something in a big building somewhere.

But when information technology really begins to mature as people get their pea brains around what can really be done now, the networks will be so distributed and so integrated that there will no longer be an "ISP". Everyone will be able to communicate and do business without contracts, with the first carrier available.

Imagine if there was a "price line" for ISPs, and every time you wanted to log on the internet, you could pick a different ISP, based on price and connection speed. This might be a good intermediate step.

However, as moore's law develops further and further, all businesss and all individuals will develop super computing power. They will be able to make their own networks with their neighbours and friends through direct wired connections, or through wireless connections. ISPs will be a thing of historical significance, but only historical...
Quantum_Conundrum
1 / 5 (1) Dec 26, 2010
Once we have nano-assemblers, how will your local mini-monolopolized ISP prevent neighbourhoods from developing their own user-owned ISP? Everyone can just use their nano-assemblers to make servers of their own, and network them to one another up and down the street and around the neighbourhood.

When this happens (20 to 25 years,) the internet will become "self served" and ISP's and even Data Centers may become completely obsolete.
solar2030
Dec 27, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
dtxx
5 / 5 (1) Dec 27, 2010
QC you are so clueless. Out of all of the garbage you just posted, let me ask you one thing. You say current smart phones/processors/etc aren't innovative because you and your buddies could chart out moore's law when you were in highschool. How the hell do you think the increases predicted by moore's law are gained? Through INNOVATION. If you would have been holding an HTC android or iphone 4 or whatever back in highschool and the same was still on the market you might have a point.

I'm not here to be your educator, but please stop your moronic tirades on every IT/CS related thread. Is the education system in the south really that bad?
GSwift7
5 / 5 (2) Dec 28, 2010
Is the education system in the south really that bad?


Yes. My daughter (14) doesn't know the difference between then and than, whether and rather, can't tell time on an analogue clock, and struggles with left and right. Her science teacher last year thought bouyancy was too complicated a subject for an 8th grade science fair project. Oh my. And the teacher didn't understand bouyancy. I could have just totally made stuff up and she wouldn't have known the difference.
Ethelred
not rated yet Dec 29, 2010
and struggles with left and right.
I struggle with left and right. I think it has to do with my being pretty good with my left hand and for some things I use my left where you might expect a right hander to use his right. One handed card shuffling for instance. Very awkward with my right in comparison to my left.

When driving my left IS my right. That is, if someone says turn right or left I often have it backwards even though I usually can turn the right direction if no one brings up which hand is involved. This also seems to be involved with my inability to deal with East vs. West. No problem with North and South, just East and West. Face is North, back is South and East is whatever hand is dominant at the moment. I mix up the K and D keys a lot as well.

Ethelred
GSwift7
not rated yet Dec 29, 2010
Yeah, that sounds like her in regard to left and right as well as east and west. She does fine as long as nobody says something like "it's on the left". I think it's actually her brain wired funny rather than not knowing the difference I guess, because she always chooses the opposite rather than randomly picking one.