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IBM: Within 5 Years, You Will Touch Through Your Screen

By - Source: IBM | B 34 comments

IBM just released its traditional 5 in 5 predictions - five innovations the company believes will be available within five years.

Some of the predictions may be obvious, while others may raise questions if we really need such capabilities. All predictions, however, are solidly placed in mainstream and consumer electronics computing and relate to a machine ability to adopt superhuman-like senses.

For 2013 to 2018, the predictions are:

Touch: You will be able to touch through your phone
Sight: A pixel will be worth a thousands words
Hearing: Computers will hear what matters
Taste: Digital taste buds will help you to eat smarter
Smell: Computers will have a sense of smell

With the exception of "touching through the screen of a phone" and "interpreting pixels", we have heard the remaining predictions in the past in varying forms. The interest in computers adopting more senses beyond touch has been with us for awhile, so it should not be surprising to hear about them again and again.

Touch, of course, has still plenty of innovation room left and IBM's idea is that haptic feedback will beable to simulate certain fabrics not too far down the road. When online shopping, for example, you will be able to feel the fabric of a t-shirt.

Personally, I would already be happy if some of the prior predictions would come true. For example, kinetic device charging, which would allow a phone to generate power from your body movements, or holographic phone calls. Of course, IBM's tech predictions are frequently not so much about the details, but also reflect our changing interest in what tech should do.

 

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  • 25 Hide
    sixdegree , January 1, 2013 12:22 PM
    Quote:
    holographic phone calls

    I guess i should stop calling that phone sex hotline then. Seeing an old dude with frilly undergarments impersonating hot Spanish model projected through my phone kinda kill the mood right away.
  • 18 Hide
    hoofhearted , January 1, 2013 1:44 PM
    Quote:
    Smell: Computers will have a sense of smell


    My computer is gonna hate me!
  • 14 Hide
    tomfreak , January 1, 2013 12:11 PM
    so I guess if all those come true, another 30years we will have humanoid cyborg that is 90% human?
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    tomfreak , January 1, 2013 12:11 PM
    so I guess if all those come true, another 30years we will have humanoid cyborg that is 90% human?
  • 25 Hide
    sixdegree , January 1, 2013 12:22 PM
    Quote:
    holographic phone calls

    I guess i should stop calling that phone sex hotline then. Seeing an old dude with frilly undergarments impersonating hot Spanish model projected through my phone kinda kill the mood right away.
  • 8 Hide
    beayn , January 1, 2013 1:02 PM
    I don't see any practical application for computers to have a sense of smell and taste in the next 5 years. What would the the point? This "Touch through your phone" looks interesting... but honestly it seems far fetched to me to have that in 5 years as well.

  • 3 Hide
    tanjo , January 1, 2013 1:07 PM
    Quote:
    Touch: You will be able to touch through your phone

    At first thought: What? Like air phone or something? Then I watched the video... and it sucks. Buy a dress online. Feel the texture through your phone bla bla. Pffft. If you haven't touched most of the materials used in dresses, you're probably living in a cave.
  • 5 Hide
    jdw_swb , January 1, 2013 1:29 PM
    Maybe I just don't want to touch through my screen.

    I just want to make phone calls.
  • 18 Hide
    hoofhearted , January 1, 2013 1:44 PM
    Quote:
    Smell: Computers will have a sense of smell


    My computer is gonna hate me!
  • 3 Hide
    DRosencraft , January 1, 2013 1:56 PM
    Touch/Smell through a device is a good idea in limited applications. Some here obviously rarely shop for non-mechanical devices, or lack a great deal of imagination. That said, touch/smell would have to be done right to be useful at all. Not every "cotton" shirt is made to the same standard. It could be useful if you're shopping online to be able to feel what that particular shirt's quality and texture are like. Or for smell, to be able to smell what some restaurant's food smells like, or what some deodorant/perfume/shampoo/detergent/cleaner smells like before you buy it. It is useful in limited scenarios, but those scenarios are very common. They may not constitute a huge percentage of computer activity, but it's something that is likely done by millions of people on a daily basis. Not the most glamorous tech, and I don't think it'll be even on the horizon in next five years due to the complications of synthetically creating variable senses of smell and touch on demand.
  • 0 Hide
    fnh , January 1, 2013 2:06 PM
    "Sight: A pixel will be worth a thousands words"

    Wasn't there a guy who put up a million-pixel website that was worth a million dollars?
  • 7 Hide
    dragonfang18 , January 1, 2013 2:21 PM
    So in 5 years we may actually know what 2 girls 1 cup might smell like?
  • 7 Hide
    SoiledBottom , January 1, 2013 2:38 PM
    You will be able to touch through your phone.....finally I will get to 3rd base
  • -3 Hide
    unksol , January 1, 2013 2:59 PM
    Stupid article on stupid goals is stupid...

    Where is the substance? Or the tech? I can say anything will happen in 5 years.

    The Mayan EXTRA long calendar ends in 2017. In 5 years we will all die
  • 1 Hide
    fearless1333 , January 1, 2013 3:43 PM
    Only 1 or 2 ("Green" power grid is questionable) out of 5 of IBM's last "5 in 5" predictions came true.

    http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/22683.wss
  • 0 Hide
    tanjo , January 1, 2013 4:18 PM
    drosencraftTouch/Smell through a device is a good idea in limited applications. Some here obviously rarely shop for non-mechanical devices, or lack a great deal of imagination. That said, touch/smell would have to be done right to be useful at all. Not every "cotton" shirt is made to the same standard. It could be useful if you're shopping online to be able to feel what that particular shirt's quality and texture are like. Or for smell, to be able to smell what some restaurant's food smells like, or what some deodorant/perfume/shampoo/detergent/cleaner smells like before you buy it. It is useful in limited scenarios, but those scenarios are very common. They may not constitute a huge percentage of computer activity, but it's something that is likely done by millions of people on a daily basis. Not the most glamorous tech, and I don't think it'll be even on the horizon in next five years due to the complications of synthetically creating variable senses of smell and touch on demand.

    Non-mechanical devices, no need to know the texture (like a mug's). For buying food/groceries online, you rely on reputation of the store. The rest, like clothes and such, we go to malls/boutiques to shop. No need for useless touch crap. I'm more concerned with how a dress will fit.

    Touch: It's very impractical to "texture scan" every item on the catalog especially wasting resources on "below standard" items. Fashion trends always change (maybe except jeans) so they'd be constantly updating the catalog. If you're lazy (always prefer shopping online) or don't have time to go out shopping (to feel out the dress yourself), you probably don't care that much about quality (unless you already know what you are buying).

    Smell: They're not talking about artificial odor. It's the computer that will have the sense of smell... not consumer computers anyway. Still, I don't know why you'd want to know the smell of a restaurant's food. Taste isn't always about the smell. Like artificial flavors, smells can be faked (like the smell device will produce).
    It's useless to try every smell of detergent/cleaner/shampoo/etc (via smell device) unless you change to a different one every time you ran out. What you're buying/trying is probably cheaper than refilling the chemicals on the smell device. If smell devices can mimic expensive perfume, there's no need to buy the real one.

    You say the scenarios are common but all of them are about online shopping. Maybe IBM is trying to make everyone into shut ins or something:
    Computers can smell if you are sick (and alert someone), can see and hear what happens in and around your house (and alert someone if it's bad), and tell you what to eat. No need to go out to shop. You can feel what you're buying online through your phone.
  • 2 Hide
    twelve25 , January 1, 2013 4:55 PM
    Another solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

  • 9 Hide
    southernshark , January 1, 2013 5:08 PM
    I could see a use for touch through the screen technology in the porn industry.
  • 0 Hide
    freggo , January 1, 2013 5:58 PM
    None of it will happen; these 'predictions' show every few years and than nothing.
    Most of these things have been around in one way or another for devades.

    And yet, we can not even make a Graphics card hacker proof; not to even mention a whole computer.
  • -1 Hide
    nix327 , January 1, 2013 6:16 PM
    It seems in future the only thing people will have to do by themselves is to die..everything else will be done for you by technology..
  • 1 Hide
    m32 , January 1, 2013 8:13 PM
    Companies have big ideas but I doubt the tech will be there. I mean, it might be there, but I can't see it being really viable unless technology picks up drastically.
  • 0 Hide
    hoofhearted , January 2, 2013 1:44 AM
    If it smells like fish make it a dish ... If it smells like cologne leave it alone
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