This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

January 9, 2008

Innovations That Will Change Our World

Every year, IBM's best minds issue a forecast of "the five innovations that will change the way(s) we live, work, and play in the next five years". Two of IBM's innovations are covered below.

Imagine this: when you visit your doctor, instead of a huge stack of paper that represents your medical records, your doctor will call up a computer-generated body onscreen, an avatar that is a walking, talking three-dimensional representation of your body. By clicking on a specific body part, your doctor can view an MRI or other image, lab results, and all text entries.

The most interesting aspect of this innovation is that the computer can then automatically compare your visual test results and audio clues to thousands or hundreds of thousands of similar patient records. This technology will enable the doctor to be much more precise in diagnosing and treating you. The huge increase in medical information and emerging visualization technologies will improve your doctor's diagnosis and treatment.

If you think your cell phone is indispensable now, just wait. In five years, we will be using our cell phones for banking, concierge services, shopping, or even to control our appliances. The technology that is coming will allow us to take a picture of a person or mannequin wearing a high fashion outfit and then search the Web for the designer and the nearest shops that carry it.

Available now is technology that will let us see what that outfit would look like on our bodies on our personal avatars. All of this imagery will happen right on our cell phones. Once in the store, our phones will guide us to where the outfits are located; there may even be discounts to match our preferences.

In Singapore, CASSIS International and IBM have launched a pilot program at train and bus stations. By tapping on a Smart Poster with their phones, consumers can receive information, access services, and conduct transactions like buying movie tickets.

The technology that is coming in the near-term future is remarkable. Our lives will be transformed in ways that most of us have not yet imagined.

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