IBM reveals five innovations that will change our lives within five years

The era of cognitive systems: when computers will, in their own way, see, smell, touch, taste and hear

IBM announced today the seventh annual “IBM 5 in 5” — a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and interact during the next five years, based on market and societal trends as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s R&D labs. This one is focused on cognitive systems.

Touch

In the next five years, industries such as retail will be transformed by the ability to “touch” a product through your mobile device, using haptic, infrared and pressure-sensitive technologies to simulate touch — such as the texture and weave of a fabric as a shopper brushes their finger over the image of the item on a device screen.

Each object will have a unique set of vibration patterns that represents the touch experience: short fast patterns, or longer and stronger sets of vibrations. The vibration pattern will differentiate silk from linen or cotton, helping simulate the physical sensation of actually touching the material.

Current uses of haptic and graphic technology in the gaming industry, for example, will take the end user into a simulated environment.

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