IBM Predicts Technology in Five Years
Every year, IBM predicts the top five changes in technology that will significantly impact the world in the next five years. This year, the list includes renewable energy, proliferation of biometric identification to authenticate identity, mind reading machines, widespread mobile access and the end of spam.
IBM's Five in Five:
1. Renewable Energy: In five years, most homes, workplaces and cities will be powered [at least partially] by renewable or recycled kinetic energy that would otherwise go to waste.
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2. Security: Passwords will become obsolete and be replaced with biometric data. "Imagine," IBM said, "you will be able to walk up to an ATM machine to securely withdraw money by simply speaking your name or looking into a tiny sensor that can recognize the unique patterns in the retina of your eye."
3. Mind Reading: Researchers have found ways for controlling devices through mind commands. Within five years, early applications of this technology will help doctors test brain patterns, rehabilitate patients and understand brain disorders. IBM scientists are researching linking brains to devices like computers and smart phones, so people will be able to make a phone call or type out sentences through thought processes. It will also be applied in the gaming and entertainment industry.
4. Mobile: “In five years, the gap between information haves and have nots will cease to exist due to the advent of mobile technology,” says IBM, claiming that 80 percent of the global population will have a mobile device by then. This will allow farmers to check weather reports for fertilizing crops or communicate when a doctor is heading into a remote town, improving healthcare and food supply around the world.
5. Analytics: Junk mail will become priority mail. Spam emails will become personal notes as systems learn how to filter out all irrelevant marketing material and only deliver relevant information to each individual, according to personal preferences. Technology will learn the habits and preferences of each person.
IBM Predicts the Next Five Years in Technology:
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
How optimistic is the outlook for the UK’s turbine bid?
Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly