5 innovations that will change your and my lives

The invention of wheel changed human life forever. So did the invention of electricity and so many others after that! Things that we only read about until a few years back have moved from the pages of science magazines to become an integral part of our daily lives.Big Blue has unveiled a list of five such innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years. The list is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from the company’s labs around the world.

Staying healthy, remotely!
Millions of people with chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart, kidney or circulatory problems will be able to have their conditions automatically monitored as they go about their daily lives. Device makers and health care professionals will take a proactive approach to ongoing, remote monitoring of patients, delivered through sensors in the home, worn on the person or in devices and packaging. These advances will also allow patients to better monitor their own health and help clinicians provide the on-going preventive care regardless of a person’s location. Hardware and software advances in the field of remote-control healthcare will be a major source of consumer and enterprise innovation by 2012.

Mobiles reading your mind
Advanced “presence” technology will give mobile phones and PDAs the ability to automatically learn about their users’ whereabouts and preferences as they commute, work and travel. “Presence” technology — used in instant messaging — already makes it possible to locate and identify a user as soon as the user connects to the network. In five years, most of the mobile devices will have the ability to continually learn about and adapt to the users’ preferences and needs. Your phone will know when you are on your workstation or in a meeting and divert automatically to voicemail. Your favorite pizza joint will know when you’re on your way home after a late night and ping you with a special-price, take-home meal just for you.  

Real-time speech translation
The movement towards globalization needs to take into account basic human elements, such as differences in language. Real-time translation technologies and services will be embedded into mobile phones, handheld devices and cars. These services will pervade every part of business and society, eliminating the language barrier in the global economy and social interaction.
Internet goes three-dimensional
The popular online immersive destinations, such as Second Life and the World of Warcraft, will evolve into the 3D internet, much like the early work by the likes of Darpa, AOL and Prodigy evolved into the World Wide Web. In this immersive online world, users will walk the aisles of supermarkets, bookstores and DVD shops, where they will encounter experts they did rarely find in their local store. The 3D Internet will enable new kinds of education, remote medicine and consumer experiences, transforming how you interact with your friends, family, doctors, teachers and more.

Going Nano, turning Green
Governments and companies are increasingly looking to improve environmental stewardship and working to secure reliable and cost-effective resources like water, energy etc. Information technology, materials science, and physics will help meet environmental needs.

Nanotechnology — the ability to manipulate individual atoms and molecules to form tiny new structures — has already had a major impact on microprocessors, making electronic products like PCs and mobile phones smaller, better and cheaper. In coming years, nanotechnology will likely be used for water filtration. This could advance ecology and conservation, helping to address the growing worldwide shortage of potable water supplies. Other areas where IT, physics, and material science will have a big impact are advanced water modeling and improving solar power systems.

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