IBM’s Next 5 in 5

Last week, IBM published the third annual "IBM Next Five in Five" list.  This is becoming an annual list (check out the 2007 list here) that describes innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years.  The Next Five in Five list is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s Labs around the world that can make these innovations possible.  

Here is IBM's 2008 list

  1. Energy saving solar technology will be built into asphalt, paint and windows.  The enabling technology for this will be “thin-film” solar cells, a new type of cost-efficient solar cell that can be 100 times thinner than silicon-wafer cells and produced at a lower cost. 
  2. You will have a crystal ball for your health.  In the next five years, your doctor will be able to provide you with a genetic map that tells you what health risks you are likely to face in your lifetime and the specific things you can do to prevent them, based on your specific DNA – all for less than $200
  3. You will have your own digital shopping assistants.  In the next five years, shoppers will increasingly rely on themselves – and the opinions of each other – to make purchasing decisions rather than wait for help from in-store sales associates.
  4. Forgetting will become a distant memory.  In the next five years, it will become much easier to remember what to buy at the grocery store, which errands need to be run, who you spoke with at a conference, where and when you agreed to meet a friend, or what product you saw advertised at the airport. That's because such details of everyday life will be recorded, stored, analyzed, and provided at the appropriate time and place by both portable and stationary smart appliances.
  5. You will talk to the Web…and the Web will talk back.  In the future, you will be able to surf the Internet, hands-free, by using your voice – therefore eliminating the need for visuals or keypads. New technology will change how people create, build and interact with information and e-commerce websites – using speech instead of text

As I have been researching and analyzing the cloud computing topic this year, I believe all five of these opportunities above will be enabled by the cloud.  All the data required by these services will be stored in the cloud and the services themselves will be cloud services. 

For more information, check out the IBM press kit Next 5 in 5 online press kit – 2008 where you can also download pdfs on each of the 'Five'.  You can also watch a Next 5 in 5 video on YouTube.