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Well now TXTual Healing (Interactive SMS based Street Performance) have a launched a new project called Drip TXT (Working with Adam Chapman and the hand of Graffiti Artist Jesus Saves). Yet another example how Public Space is transforming into a playground.
International Business Machines, the multinational computer technology giant, on Monday unveiled the ‘IBM Next Five in Five’ study, which is its view on five innovations that have the potential of changing the way people the world over work, live and play over the next five years.
The list is based on market / societal trends (expected to transform people’s lives) and also on emerging technologies from IBM’s Labs around the world that could make these innovations possible.
Usually it is the adults who teach the kids. But IBM scientists and business consultants say that some of today’s most popular pastimes from teens to post-graduates are on course to changing the way people will communicate, shop and work. Who would have thought that IM chats, text messages and video games would change the world. . . for adults!
‘IBM’s Next Five in Five’ indicates that technology developed primarily as ‘playthings’ for teenagers is set to radically alter the workday world for their parents. It is likely that in five years, adults will be sitting down at their desks and working with 3D Internet programmes that look more like PlayStation games than spreadsheets. Your mother’s mobile phone will use new IM technology that will ping her about special sales at Big Bazaar as she’s driving by the store or strolling through the mall.
“Our researchers are focussed on the application of technologies in ways that matter to people, business and society,” said Daniel Dias, director of IBM’s India Research Laboratory. “Open collaborative research and real-world innovations are going to shape the future. In the next five years, our lives will change through technology innovations in the following ways,” he said in a statement.
The five innovations that will change people’s lives over the next five years are:
1. We will be able to access healthcare remotely, from just about anywhere in the world: Millions of people with chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart, kidney or circulatory problems will be able to have their conditions automatically monitored as they go about their daily lives. Device makers and healthcare professionals will take a proactive approach to ongoing, remote monitoring of patients, delivered through sensors in the home, worn on the person or in devices and packaging.
These advances will also allow patients to better monitor their own health and help clinicians provide the on-going preventive care regardless of a person’s location. Hardware and software advances in the field of remote-control healthcare will be a major source of consumer and enterprise innovation by 2012.
2. Mobile phones will start to read our minds: Advanced ‘presence’ technology will give mobile phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants) the ability to automatically learn about their users’ whereabouts and preferences as they commute, work and travel. ‘Presence’ technology — used in instant messaging — already makes it possible to locate and identify a user as soon as the user connects to the network.
In five years, all sorts of mobile devices will have the ability to continually learn about and adapt to your preferences and needs. Your phone will know when you’re in class or in a meeting and divert automatically to voicemail. Your favourite pizza joint will know when you’re on your way home after a late night and ping you with a special-price, take-home meal just for you.
3. Real-time speech translation — once a vision only in sci-fi — will become the norm: The movement towards globalisation needs to take into account basic human elements, such as differences in language.
For example, IBM speech innovations are already allowing media companies to monitor Chinese and Arabic news broadcasts over the Web in English, travellers using PDAs to translate menus in Japanese, and doctors to communicate with patients in Spanish.
Real-time translation technologies and services will be embedded into mobile phones, handheld devices and cars. These services will pervade every part of business and society, eliminating the language barrier in the global economy and social interaction.
4. There will be a 3-D Internet: The popular online immersive destinations, such as Second Life and the World of Warcraft, will evolve into the 3-D Internet, much like the early work by the likes of Darpa, AOL and Prodigy evolved into the World Wide Web.
In this immersive online world, you will walk the aisles of supermarkets, bookstores and DVD shops, where you’ll encounter experts you’d rarely find in your local store. The 3-D Internet will enable new kinds of education, remote medicine and consumer experiences, transforming how we interact with our friends, family, doctors, teachers, favourite stores, et cetera.
5. New technologies the size of a few atoms will address areas of environmental importance: Governments and companies are increasingly trying to improve environmental stewardship and secure reliable and cost-effective resources like water, energy, etc. Information technology, materials science, and physics will help meet environmental needs.
Nanotechnology — the ability to manipulate individual atoms and molecules to form tiny new structures — has already had a major impact on microprocessors, making electronic products like PCs and mobile phones smaller, better and cheaper.
In coming years, nanotechnology will likely be used for water filtration. This could advance ecology and conservation, helping to address the growing worldwide shortage of potable water supplies. Other areas where IT, physics, and material science will have a big impact are advanced water modeling and improving solar power systems.
These five innovations were selected based on projects from the brains in IBM’s Research labs, business research conducted by IBM’s business think-tank, and ideas pooled from more than 150,000 people from 104 countries, including IBM employees, their family members, universities, business partners and customers from 67 countries, during a recent online brainstorm called ‘IBM InnovationJam.’
What can we learn from this?
Thanks to David Armano
Just found a great new blog: Chroma! Worth a visit!! There was a nice post on Dole’s new “Dole Organic” bananas:
Want to know where your next organic banana is from? (Of course you do).
Dole Organic Bananas come with a three digit farm code on the sticker. The website provides the “backstory” for each farm: location, the history, see photos. Don’t know if this is new, maybe it’s been around and I hadn’t heard of it, but it’s pretty smart. And it gives you an excuse to use the phrase “transmedia bananas”.
Age of the Individual: this trend is all about being in control. Following high profile corporate scandals and politicians who deny they’ve been up to no good, consumers are looking for products and services made “just for me”. Puma’s custom-designed sneakers and Toyota’s customisable Scion are leading examples of just-for-me products. We also want greater control over our health. With the rise of obesity, juvenile diabetes and other diet related health worries, the wellness industry has become increasingly popular. Alternative therapies and the vitamin supplement industry are allowing us to be more involved in the health decision making process with a focus on “me the unique individual”.
Seize the moment: fast food, fast cars, disposable products. This has been with us for some time and is likely to continue as consumers demand the “temporary”. Life-long devotion to a particular “brand product” will decline as people demand faster product lifecycles; they will also buy “no name brands” more often. Consumers will demand products that help them discover new tastes and flavours, as well as allow us to experience innovative design ideas and products.
Mmmm…I recall my grandmother using nothing but Helena Rubenstein products for years and years. She was never swayed by new cosmetic products or swish advertising. Wonder what she’d think of our ‘temporary culture”!
A Deeper Values Experience: I suspect this trend is originating in the Sustainability movement; and also from our deep suspicion and anger towards politicians, Government – you name it. Beyond the fabulous products out there, we also want to feel good about ourselves when we use them. We want to know that we are buying Fair Trade goods or that a percentage of profits goes towards alleviating poverty. Ecotourism is on the rise as we increasingly seek a holiday experience in a rainforest for example. I did this in 2004, when I went to Nicaragua specifically to take a rainforest tour with an indigenous herbal medicine doctor. In driving rain, I slipped down every path and tripped over the roots of huge trees. I couldn’t understand a word the man was saying as he told me how each tree and leaf could be used medicinally – but it was the best travel experience I’ve ever had and I managed to keep my lipgloss on – gotta look good even when traipsing through the jungle :)-
Back to the Future: for decades we’ve been at the mercy of mass production. Seems everything is “Made in China” and the sizes don’t always fit us. So now it’s back to a time when local craft products were available; when one-of-a-kind shopping experiences were the norm; and when we enjoyed simplicity. Again, back to my grandmother – she used to tell me about how she shopped in the 1950s. She would go to David Jones (department store still existing in Sydney) and enjoy a personal shopping experience. If buying gloves, she would place her elbow on a velvet cushion and the assistant would carefully fit the glove over her hand. Clothes and other items were made in Europe or Australia and often these items were unique. (I was in DJs the other day and glanced over at the perfume section – full of Celebrity-name perfumes. What’s happened to the unique, quality products?). Individuals also want products with labels telling exactly where it was made and what the ingredients are.
The New Fear Factor: just as I was gearing up to do a post on what I think are our current fears, along comes this trend. Particularly, post 9/11 we are living in a world where we are watched, searched and our politicians are creating a fear based society that is getting eerily reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984 environment. This leads to a feeling of loss of control as individuals cope with the demands of heightened security issues and concerns over whether a global database of our fingerprints and iris patterns is being constructed. We may not be able to control these external factors, but we are demanding safer food, especially organic and environmentally friendly products.
It’s Reigning Men: I like this trend! we’ve seen the rise of the Metrosexual and mens’ grooming products. Men can now fully participate in the personal care category as societal opinion no longer views a man who moisturises as being “not manly”. It’s predicted that mens’ products will now be included in traditional female categories like body care.
New Consumer-Centric Media: it’s a content driven world and consumers want to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to personalising content and their online experience. Social software is allowing networks and circles of trust to be formed around like-minded people who spread the word about products and services through viral marketing. Online shopping increasingly becomes the norm as online providers trip over themselves to offer you that unique shopping experience.
Just last week, I decided to try buying from an online beauty website (lipgloss again!). I was amazed at the menu of offerings – products from Italy, the US, Greece, you name it – and I could see what other products people were buying from the different categories. My products arrived in just over 24 hours, wrapped in gold tissue paper and with easy instructions on how to return the products if necessary. Certainly beats schlepping around a department store and experiencing often nonchalant service!
Memory Fast Lane: thank goodness, I thought I was having trouble remembering things because I’m getting older. But it seems that our fast-paced, 24/7 lifestyle and being constantly connected is distracting us and causing memory retention issues. This is a problem across generations, not just Baby Boomers, and the vitamin supplement industry is rushing to the rescue with memory concentration aids and brain tonics to help people along the spectrum from students, to online gamers, to senior citizens.
Working Women Revisited: the Womens’ Lib movement of the 1960s and 1970s certainly opened up opportunities for women to have a career. Apparently though a study has linked women’s entrance into the workforce during the 1970s with a significant decline in children’s diets including the onset of juvenile diabetes. So the trend is to eat at home more often (and get in touch with the family) and demand healthy fast-food options (is this an oxymoron?).
The Centenarian Century: with more focus on wellness, work/life balance and services to better support the aging, this will be the century of people living beyond 100 (hope for me yet!). Baby Boomers are currently hitting retirement age and are not about to retire quietly. They will be demanding quality health care, insurance and social services and there will be new products and services to cater for the longevity factor.