IBM predicts tech world of 2016

IBM predicts tech world of 2016
Watson - one of IBM's innovations

IBM has published its sixth annual Five in Five - where it predicts five innovations that will change all of our lives in the next five years, with mind-reading machines apparently set to be interpreting our thoughts by 2016.

IBM remains one of the giants of the tech world despite its decision to focus on less consumer focused enterprises, and Big Blue serves up an annual reminder that it is looking to the future for consumers as well as businesses.

"The IBM Five in Five is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM Labs around the world that can make these innovations possible," states IBM.

"In fact the mind-reading prediction is based on work undertaken in our R&D laboratory in the UK. Many of the company's previous Five in Five predictions are already taking root, such as in 2008, when IBM predicted that consumers would be talking to the web - and the web would talk right back."

Five predictions

So, on top of mind reading machines what tech does IBM think will change our lives by 2016?

  • You will make your own energy: Anything that moves has the potential to create energy. Your running shoes, your bicycle and even the water flowing through your pipes can create energy.
  • You will not need a password: Your biological makeup is the key to your individual identity, and soon, it will become the key to safeguarding it.
  • Mind reading is no longer science fiction: Scientists are researching how to link your brain to your devices, such as a computer or a smartphone, so you just need to think about calling someone and it happens.
  • The digital divide will cease to exist: In five years, the gap between information haves and have-nots will narrow considerably due to advances in mobile technology.
  • Junk mail will become priority mail: Think about how often we're flooded with advertisements we consider to be irrelevant or unwanted - it doesn't have to be that way anymore.

IBM has also produced a video highlighting the advances it expects – which we've embedded for your delectation below:

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.