IBM has issued its sixth annual look at what Big Blue thinks will be the five biggest technologies for the next five years. In past prediction packages the company has had some success in predicting the future of telemedicine and nanotechnology.
This year IBM thinks very soon people will never need passwords; mind reading will happen; the so-called digital divide will cease to exist; and junk mail will become important.
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On IBM's Building a Smarter Planet Blog, Steve Hamm writes: "Making this kind of prediction is difficult. So, every year, IBM researchers stick out their necks. Which is risky."
"A lot of people wait for things to happen. It's rare than an organization says: this is a big change, and it's coming," says IBM Fellow Bernard Meyerson.
So what's coming? According to IBM:
- No passwords: You will never need a password again because of what IBM calls "multi-factor biometrics." Smart systems will be able to use retina scans and other personal information in real-time to make sure whenever someone is attempting to access your information, it matches your unique biometric profile. To be trusted, such systems should enable you to opt in or out of whatever information you choose to provide. Your biological makeup is the key to your individual identity, and soon, it will become the key to safeguarding it. You will no longer need to create, track or remember multiple passwords for various log-ins. Imagine you will be able to walk up to an ATM machine to securely withdraw money by simply speaking your name or looking into a tiny sensor that can recognize the unique patterns in the retina of your eye, IBM said.
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