The month of November was a busy month, as usual for IBM, filled with a slew of announcements in hardware, software, services, acquisitions, and strategic alliances. The list of announcements made during the month is below and the complete index of IBM Happenings (by year and month) is here. Included was the third annual “IBM Next Five in Five” — a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years. The Next Five in Five is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as innovations IBM is projecting will come from it’s research laboratories around the world.
These are some highlights of the five areas in which IBM sees our lives being impacted by technology innovations. For more, visit ibm.com.
Energy saving solar technology will be built into asphalt, paint and windows. There could be huge savings by having solar heat embedded in our sidewalks, driveways, siding, paint, rooftops, and windows. The cost of solar is going to drop with the creation of “thin-film” solar cells that can be 100 times thinner than today’s materials. The new material can be “printed” and arranged on a flexible backing, suitable for not only the tops but also the sides of buildings.
What if you could foresee your health destiny and use that knowledge to modify your lifestyle? Our doctors will be able to provide a genetic map that tells you what health risks you are likely to face in your lifetime and the specific things you can do to prevent them, based on your specific DNA. Pharmaceutical companies will also be able to engineer new, more effective medications that are targeted for each of us as individual patients.
You will talk to the Web — and the Web will talk back. You will be able to surf the web hands-free. Already, in parts of the world where the spoken word is more prominent than the written word in education, government and culture, “talking” to the Web is leapfrogging the PC because of the ubiquity of the mobile phone. We take voice for granted but soon we will just as easily use our voice to post to our blogs, scan and respond to e-mails and instant messages, and sort through the Web verbally to find what we are looking for and have the information read – as if you are having a conversation with the Web.
In the next five years, shoppers will increasingly rely on themselves – and the opinions of each other – in combination with technology “assistants” to make purchasing decisions rather than wait for help from in-store sales associates. Fitting rooms will be outfitted with digital shopping assistants – touch screen and voice activated kiosks that will allow you to choose clothing items and accessories to complement what you already selected. Once you make your selections, a sales associate is notified and will gather the items and bring them directly to you. You will also be able to snap photos of yourself and email or SMS them to your friends and family for the thumbs up — or thumbs down. Shoppers can access product ratings and reviews from fellow consumers and will even be able to download money-saving coupons and instantly apply them to their purchases.
Forgetting will become a distant memory even as Information overload keeps you up at night. In the next five years, it will become much easier to remember what to buy at the grocery store, which errands need to be run, who you spoke with at a conference, where and when you agreed to meet a friend, or what product you saw advertised at the airport. Such details of everyday life will be recorded, stored, analyzed, and provided at the appropriate time and place by microphones and video cameras. Our mobile phones with GPS will remind us to pick up groceries or prescriptions if we are in the vicinity of the appropriate store. Strong privacy protection will have to be a key feature of these new technologies.
List of Announcements for November 2008
A smarter planet: the next leadership agenda
IBM commits to future of ODF with Symphony roadmap
IBM helps 4Food integrate corporate social responsibility
IBM awarded U.S. immigration services contract
Punahou School uses IBM to cut energy use
PHASE 2 selects IBM technology to grow its business
IBM forms software speeds past paper delays
IBM announces plans to acquire Transitive
IBM unveils findings of Security & Society GIO
IBM, National Grid and LIPA announce energy-efficiency program
IBM awarded funding for cognitive computing collaboration
Nokia extends IBM Lotus email access to mobile phones
IBM reveals third annual “Next Five in Five” list
IBM launches new cloud computing services
IBM, Manitoba build digital passport system for food
IBM to validate resiliency of cloud infrastructures
Report finds IBM Supercomputers most energy efficient
LendingTree Loans selects IBM for loan services