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IBM's five tech-driven innovation predictions for the next five years [infographics]

Smart classrooms, DNA-based medical care, and wired cities are among the technology-related innovations identified by IBM researchers for the company's 5 in 5 report. 

December 17, 2013 |

Yes, it's the time of the year when everyone and their cousin reveals their bold predictions and big trends for the coming year. Tech giant IBM just released one of the better forward-looking reports: "The 5 in 5: Innovations That Will Change Our Lives in the Next Five Years," complete with videos and colorful infographics (see below). 

As you would expect from IBM, all five innovation predictions are driven by emerging technologies, such as cloud computing, big data analytics, and learning technologies. At least three of their predictions have a direct relationship with the built environment, and all five are related to construction in some way. 

Here are IBM's 5 in 5 innovation predictions (descriptions and graphics courtesy IBM):


1. The Classroom Will Learn You

The classroom of the future will learn about each individual student over the course of their education, helping them master the skills that match their goals.The rapid digitization of educational institutions will allow unprecedented instrumentation of the learning process. Cognitive computing, or learning technologies, will help us calculate everything we can about how each student learns and thrives, then create flexibility in the system to continually adapt and fine-tune what we deliver to that student and how this supports teachers and employers. More on this trend.




2. The City Will Help You Live In It

For citizens, smart phones enabled by cognitive systems will provide a digital key to the city. People can have fingertip access to information about everything that’s happening in the city, whether an experience is right for them, and how best to get there. Because these learning systems have interacted with citizens continuously, they know what they like—and can present them with options they might not find easily. More on this trend.




3. Doctors Will Routinely Use Your DNA To Keep You Well

Today, full DNA testing to help make treatment decisions is still rare. But cognitive systems and cloud computing may make this form of treatment mainstream. It could be done faster, more affordably and much more frequently. In addition to DNA testing for cancers, we may even see DNA-specific personalized treatment options for conditions such as stroke and heart disease. More on this trend.




4. Buying Local Will Beat Online

The technology trends will move us back to brick and mortar—but with a difference. In the future, retailers will layer increasing levels of engagement and personalization on top of the shopping experience, ultimately merging the instant gratification of physical shopping with the richness of online shopping and making same-day delivery a snap. More on this trend.




5. A Digital Guardian Will Protect You Online

Security is evolving from being based on rules, like passwords, to being automatic and made stronger through us just being us.This guardian will have your back, trained to focus on the people and items it is entrusted with based on a 360 degree of an individual’s data, devices and applications. It will make inferences about what’s normal or reasonable activity and what’s not, ready to spot deviations that could be precursors to an attack and a stolen identity. More on this trend.

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