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IBM lists five tech innovations coming in the next five years

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Image used with permission by copyright holder

We already know that tablets are going to take a bite out of PC sales and robots will take over social networks, but what else is happening in the next five years? Well, IBM has a few guesses. The company recently unveiled its annual “Next Five in Five,” showcasing five innovations it thinks will hit the tech market in the next five years. This year’s list is filled with better batteries, 3D holograms, computer heat energy, better GPS, and citizen scientists.

Here’s the list:

  • Better batteries: Though battery capacity and power have traditionally only improved about 7 percent  a year, IBM thinks we may see smaller batteries that last 10 times longer than today’s.
  • 3D holograms: We’ve reported on early holographic tests, but things will get a lot more real. 3D holograms will infect phones, TVs, and all sorts of screens, making 3D something consumers actually want. No glasses needed.
  • Computer heat: IBM hopes to harness the energy produced by massive farms of computer servers and use it to heat and cool other buildings. “In the data center, 50% of the energy is cooling the data center, and a lot of that heat is just lost to us,” said Don Campbell, Chief Technology Officer for Business Analytics at IBM. “A micro approach to passing water across the chip, pulling heat out of the chip and instead of getting rid of it, capturing, extracting and repurposing it, can lead to something as simple as driving a coffee maker in the lunch room, or as massive as heating a building in winter.”
  • Personalized GPS: Android phones already have turn-by-turn navigation, but IBM predicts this technology can get a whole lot better by pulling real-time traffic data, advising alternate routes, and even telling you how many parking spots are available in a nearby lot. Pretty cool, right?
  • Citizen scientists: Finally, in five years, IBM believes that sensors in smartphones, cars, computers, and social networks will help scientists get a real-time picture of where and how you live. In other words, ordinary people will be able to donate their personal data to help scientific research.

Here’s the video:

What do you think of these predictions? If we only accomplish better batteries, I’ll be happy. My phone has been unplugged for six hours and it’s already dying.

Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
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