Who was it that said, “If we don’t advance, we die”? I’ve got it narrowed down between Pitfall Harry and some guy who never thought they’d be a robot’s human slave. That mystery aside, people dedicate their lives to advancement, with futurists dancing with scientists to bring our science fiction dreams to fruition. Right now, in fact, the tech world is abuzz with IBM’s release of their annual 5 in 5 list of sci-fi worthy predictions for five technological advances in the next five years. Brace yourself.
People Powered Energy: Goodbye Ritalin. This one seeks to harness the kinetic energy created by us walking from room to room to turn on lights and make a Hot Pocket.
If you had to get off the couch and do a lap around your candy dish to watch The Biggest Loser, would you? Or would Americas regress to reading… things on paper. On the plus side, this could be a boon to the human size hamster wheel industry that has struggled to grow beyond specialty catalogs.
No Passwords Required: Retinal scans, voice recognition, fingerprints, etc.
Old news to anyone who has ever watched a movie, in any genre. 007 (Connery not Moore) was unphased by this circa 1960 but it is an inherently flawed technology, felled by anyone desperate enough to lop off a finger in the name of accessing your Farmville account.
Ending the Digital Divide: poor countries can afford cell service with web access easier than computers. NY Daily News quotes IBM, who gives the inspirational example of tribes using weather apps to know when to fertilize crops.
I’d put more faith in their century old methods than a remote cell tower, especially if its AT&T. More likely it seems that outlying areas are going to become indoctrinated into the macabre world of Asian porn.
The End of Junk Mail: Your computer knows your interests and preferences and acts accordingly.
I’m not even sure human beings should know their own true interests and preferences. My question (and I really hate going here, but), what’s going to happen to the inbox of that poor guy who actually is feeling self-conscious about the size of his member?
Reading Your Mind: Wanna be able to control devices (computers, phones, frakkin’ toasters) with your mind as opposed to using buttons and switches.
This always works out so well in the movies. Honestly, haven’t we all got into enough trouble butt-calling people on retro cells? And that was just our glutes in control, factor in your subconscious or an inebriated state and [insert deity here] knows who you’ll find yourself talking/confessing to.
Overall, I’m underwhelmed by the reveal, but maybe I’m being unnecessarily cynical. Without forward thinkers like these, I wouldn’t be able to photograph my dog’s Christmas sweater and instantly publish it across multiple platforms for the delight of hundreds. And then, where would we be?
Take a look at the video below showcasing IBM’s plan for a Cyborg milita…I mean the next 5 in 5.
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Written by Angela Wagner (@angelamwagner)
Angela hesitates to call herself a writer, fearing commitment of any kind. A graduate of a respected university, she refuses to name drop until offered compensation (loan forgiveness) for doing so. She has a preternatural fear of being mauled by sharks, even while inland. She blames Spielberg. More »
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