News / Science & Technology

Future Smart Devices Will Extend Our Senses

Future Smart Devices Could Extend Our Sensesi
|| 0:00:00
X
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

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid