News / Science & Technology

Future Smart Devices Will Extend Our Senses

Future Smart Devices Could Extend Our Sensesi
|| 0:00:00
February 01, 2013 6:56 PM
Every year, the IBM Corporation looks at emerging technologies and identifies five innovations it believes will change the world in the next five years. The company’s annual list, called “Five in Five”, has focused in the past on upcoming changes in mobile phones, 3-D imaging, transportation systems and energy technologies. This year, as Faiza Elmasry tells us, the IBM list describes smart devices that will extend our senses.
Future Smart Devices Could Extend Our Senses
Faiza Elmasry
Imagine shopping for clothes online and being able to run your hand across the screen on your computer or smartphone to feel the fabrics. That kind of simulation technology could be available within the next five years.

“We’re talking about reinventing the way computers operate and you interact with them as humans,” says IBM Vice President Bernie Meyerson.

Extending our sense of touch is one of five innovatons IBM believes will change the world in the next five years, according to the company's annual "Five in Five" list.  

Smart machines will also soon be able to listen to the environment and highlight the sounds we care about most. For instance, an advanced speech recognition system will tell new parents why their baby is crying.
“Your child is hungry, versus ill, versus lonely," Meyerson says. "This kind of thing is not possible today, but with a sophisticated enough system, it’s actually possible.”

In the near future, personal computers will be able to do more than recognize images and visual data. Their built-in cameras will be able to analyze features such as colors, and understand the meaning of visual media, such as knowing how to sort family photos.

Smart machines will also be able to smell. If you sneeze on your computer or cell phone, tiny sensors embedded in the machine will be able to analyze thousands of molecules in your breath.

“It can give you an alarm and say; ‘Hey, you may not feel sick yet, but you have an infection, you must go see your doctor immediately,’” Meyerson says.

IBM scientists are also developing a system which can experience flavors to be used by chefs to create recipes. It breaks down ingredients to their molecular level and blends them to create the most popular flavors and smells, even as it helps us mind our waistlines.  

“It can recommend to you the food you love to taste, but it can also keep track of the caloric limits, whether you have limits on the fat or cholesterol you can eat," Meyerson says. "So it strikes that ideal balance between the best possible taste and the best possible nutritional outcome.”

One of the most impressive things about the IBM list, says Georgetown University computer science professor Mark Maloof, is how powerful these tiny,smart devices are becoming:

"I think one of the surprises in that list is how a lot of very sophisticated computational methods for doing say for example, hearing and vision, have been implemented on these tiny small mobile devices."

Maloof hopes the advances will encourage more students to study science, technology, engineering and math, preparing them to play a role in future innovations.

“It’s going to be exciting to see what young people do with the increased availability of mobile platforms and networking and computing power,” he says.
He believes there’s little doubt advances in computer technology over the next five years will make what now seems like science fiction a part of our everyday lives.

You May Like

Photogallery Belgian Security Measures Foreshadow New Normal for Europe

Rising threat of terrorism, disaffected Muslim populations and open borders, along with refugee, migrant crisis, are creating perfect storm for Europe, which some analysts fear continent is ill-suited to weather

Competing Claims of Responsibility for Mali Hotel Attack

Malian authorities ask public for help in identifying gunmen killed in attack, amid conflicting claims of responsibility from multiple jihadist groups active in the country

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: HAL from: JPN
February 04, 2013 6:53 AM
Do you think you need to feel clothes when online shopping ?
Do you think you need to check your health using your mobile phone ?
It's not sophisticated technologies but useless technologies.
IBM should become more innovative company.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs