Login

IBM predicts how future technology will radically augment your senses

IBM 5 on 5

IBM today published its annual 5 in 5 report, citing five arenas of technology the company believes will see vast advancements over the next five years. This year's list focuses on the five human senses and how future tech will help augment touch, sight, taste, hearing, and smell. Each article is written by one of IBM's research experts, so while some of the ideas may sound unfeasible today, they're coming from people with a decent understanding of what's coming down the pipe.

For starters, IBM thinks within five years we could be "touching" items we're shopping for online using only a smartphone, "so that you can feel a sweater, jacket, or upholstery – right through the screen." Further, marrying augmented reality and future breakthroughs could allow you to point a phone at produce and receive feedback on the freshness of food before you throw it in your shopping cart.

Digital shopping cards will get more 'physical'

Sound could stand to receive even more benefits in the years ahead thanks to "algorithms embedded in cognitive systems" that will be able to decipher and understand virtually any sound. IBM inventor Dimitri Kanevsky says this could particularly revolutionize our communication with infants. Patents to understand a baby's utterances are already in existence, but we've been waiting for technology to catch up; when it does, it will enable us to interpret their feelings with deeper insight than ever before. He also expects that we'll one day see advance hearing devices / cochlear implants that help us predict incoming weather conditions.

The implications of what we'll see in sight, smell, and taste are also extraordinary, and each article is worth a read. Even if you don't believe we'll see any of these examples appear anytime soon, seeing them dreamt up by experts is part of the fun.

The Verge
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.