IBM Predicts Holographic Mobile Phones by 2015: Report
Technology giant IBM issued a list of predictions of future
technologies culled from a survey of 3,000 IBM scientists, Bloomberg reported,
pronouncing cities heated by servers, holographic cell phones and
advanced city traffic monitoring as among the prevalent technologies of
the next five years. Batteries that "breathe" air and the proliferation
of environmental sensors were also included on the list.
"All this demonstrates a real culture of innovation at IBM and willingness to devote itself to solving some of the world's biggest problems," Josephine Cheng, a vice president at IBM's Almaden lab, told the news service. The company predicted batteries would move beyond lithium-ion construction to more energy-dense materials, greatly increasing their power capacity and allowing them to recharge using the air around them.
"These are all stretch goals, and that's good. In an era when pessimism is the new black, a little dose of technological optimism is not a bad thing" Paul Saffo, managing director of foresight at investment firm Discern, told Bloomberg. "The nice thing about the list is that it provokes thought. If everything came true, they wouldn't be doing their job."
Earlier this month, IBM took steps to bring a better future to the island nation of Singapore, announcing a research collaboratory there where researchers from IBM intend to collaborate with scientists and engineers from public agencies in Singapore to improve the quality of its urban services. The focus of the research effort will be to use sensor networks to more effectively model, predict and manage the use of natural and physical infrastructure resources - water, transport and energy.
The collaboratory will focus on research in advanced analytics-based solutions. The understanding of water, energy and transport systems requires science-based models of resources (e.g. hydrology for water) and behavior (e.g. economic models for demand response for electricity and transport). These models need to assimilate data from sensor networks at the right scale and resolution to capture the observed events and the interaction between the different systems. Such models may be used to understand the behavior and develop policies for the management of these systems.
IBM said it would work with several agencies including the Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to develop decision support tools to help Singapore more effectively manage its resources. As part of these efforts, IBM also intends to drive research collaborations with an ecosystem of research institutes and universities in Singapore. One of the first projects with the LTA will focus on smarter transportation to mitigate traffic congestion. The research will build upon the work already done by IBM Research to provide traffic prediction and will aim to provide decision support analytics for improved traffic management.