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IBM predictions for 2015: Holographic cell phones

Consumer Reports News: December 23, 2010 12:57 PM

Forget about 3D TVs. By 2015, the world will have moved on to complete three-dimensional holographic displays. And, they'll be everywhere, including hi-tech smart phones—powered by static electricity, or perhaps by the very air itself.

These are some of the fantastic predictions the 3,000 scientists at IBM made in the company's annual "Next Five in Five" survey. The complete list (and video presentation) of the five innovations that will hit the tech market in the coming five years includes:

  • People as scientists — Every day people will help advance scientific research and discoveries through the devices—and the embedded sensors within—they carry and use. Tweets about when and where mosquitoes are biting produce data that may help researchers determine the possibility of an outbreak of West Nile virus, for example. Think of this as a futuristic social network with a serious purpose.
  • Better batteries — Advances in materials science and energy research could produce smaller batteries that use air to create power for mobile devices.
  • Waste heat no more — Much of the power used in a computer server farm, such as the ones used by online search engines, creates unwanted heat. Researchers say that wasted heat will be put to better uses.
  • Better commuting — GPS navigation systems will get much smarter. They will learn traffic patterns and your driving habits to automatically produce the most congestion-free route.
  • No more 3D glasses — Displays—whether it's your TV, your car's dashboard, your mobile phone, or your computer—will produce three-dimensional holograms without needing special glasses. And they'll be interactive too!

Whether or not any of these predictions will come true by 2015 is anyone's guess. But it's always fun to look into a crystal ball—no matter how cracked or fuzzy it may be. So as we start the beginning of the end for 2010, what excites you about 2011 and beyond? What from this IBM list has you jazzed or razzed? Or, maybe you have your own ideas? Feel free to start the discussion below!

IBM Expects to See Holographic Phone Calls, Air-Powered Batteries by 2015 [Bloomberg]

Paul Eng

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