IBM's 5 in 5: Five Life-Changing Technology Innovations in Five Years
The second IBM prediction is that buying local will beat online. IBM says new innovations will make buying local appeal to consumers. Online sales topped $1 trillion worldwide for the first time last year, and are growing faster than in-store sales. Online stores currently have an advantage in their ability to learn from the choices we make on the web. Today, most physical stores are limited to the insights they can gain at the point of sale – and the trend of "showrooming" is making it harder to compete with online retailers who compete solely on price. However, according to IBM, in five years, new innovations will make buying local attractive to consumers again. Savvy retailers will use the immediacy of the store and proximity to customers to create experiences that cannot be replicated by online-only retail. They will magnify the digital experience by bringing the web right to where the shopper can physically touch it. Indeed, in five years, retailers could rely on Watson-like technologies to equip sales associates to be expert about every product in the store, IBM said With technologies such as augmented reality and the recently announced plan to open Watson as an app development platform, IBM is providing shoppers’ with better in-store browsing and buying experiences.The third IBM prediction is that doctors will routinely use your DNA to keep you well. Cancer is a complicated disease and despite tremendous advances in research and treatment, cancer incidences have risen more than 10 percent since 2008, striking more than 14 million patients and claiming the lives of 8.1 million every year around the world. However, IBM projects that treatment could be more specific and precise – where computers could help doctors understand how a tumor affects a patient down to their DNA and present a collective set of medications shown to best attack the cancer. In five years, advances in big data analytics and emerging cloud-based cognitive systems coupled with breakthroughs in genomic research and testing could help doctors to accurately diagnose cancer and create personalized cancer treatment plans for millions of patients around the world. Smart machines will take the output of full genome sequencing and scour vast repositories of medical records and publications to learn and quickly provide specific and actionable insights on treatment options for oncologists.IBM said cancer care, personalized right down to a genomic level, has been on the horizon since scientists first sequenced the human genome, but few clinicians have access to the tools. Within five years, cloud-based cognitive systems could make such personalized medicine available at a scale and speed never before possible. IBM is beginning to explore this opportunity, working with health care partners to develop systems that could deliver genomic insights and reduce the time it takes to find the right treatment for a patient from weeks and months to days and minutes.
As mobile devices supported by cloud computing enable individuals to share what makes them tick, their health or nutritional needs, virtual closets and social networks, retailers will soon be able to anticipate with increased accuracy the products a shopper most wants and needs. As a result, stores will transform into immersive destinations with experiences customized for each individual. And given their proximity and multiple footprints, stores will be able to offer shoppers a variety of fast pick-up or delivery options, wherever the customer is. Two day shipping will feel like snail mail, IBM says.