On Monday, IBM released its annual “Next Five in Five” list, highlighting technologies and innovations that could change the way we live and interact by the time 2015 rolls around. The list spans everything from 3D holograms to CPU-powered energy.
3D had a good year in 2010, and IBM only sees it getting bigger and better. According to the company, developing technologies will allow you to interact with 3D holograms and photos–and we could even see 3D cameras start appearing on smart phones. IBM Research is currently developing techniques for displaying 3D data as images; this research could pave the way for more accurate visualizations of world maps, Twitter trends, and more.
Much longer battery life could also be on the horizon. IBM predicts that new developments in transistor and battery technology will lengthen the battery life of our devices or even eliminate the need for a battery at all. Researchers are currently working on batteries that use air to power everything from netbooks to tablets. IBM is also working to decrease the amount of energy required per transistor, which could allow smaller devices such as phones and eReaders to ditch the battery and instead rely on the user’s movements for power.
IBM also envisions sensors in your gadgets that could collect atmospheric information to help scientists monitor atmospheric changes and fight global warming. The company is developing smart phone apps that will let citizens collect and share data which can be used to improve the environment. This technology could even be used to provide more advanced warnings for natural disasters.
IBM’s list also has something that should please every morning commuter: Thanks to advanced analytics and adaptive traffic systems, someday you could receive up-to-the-minute advice on the quickest route to work. IBM’s system-in-progress could even let you know if there’s parking available at the train station.
Last but not least, IBM says we have computer-powered heat to look forward to. A pilot project in Switzerland is currently utilizing an on-chip water-cooling system that recycles energy from a cluster of computers to provide hot water for a home or office. The new technology is expected to save 30 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.