Here’s how IBM sees the next five years of tech innovation

February 6th, 2014

Each year, IBM releases its technology predictions for the next five years. It's an anticipated event, and this year Forbes columnist Greg Satell took a look at some of the tech innovator's major predictions. What will the next five years hold for technology? Here's a brief look at what might happen, as determined by IBM.

High-tech classrooms

Satell writes that technology will help U.S. school children get caught up to their peers around the world. Technology isn't a cure-all, obviously. But Satell writes that it may help educators better teach a greater number of children. The problem currently? Some U.S. students receive a top education. A lot of others don't. Technology can help change this.

Retailers get smarter

Tech will make retailers more efficient in reaching their customers, too, according to Satell's column. Imagine this scenario: You walk into your favorite department store on the hunt for a new snow shovel. Your smart phone automatically searches the store's inventory for products. Once you find one you like, you instantly send a smartphone message to the store's workers. One of them responds by guiding you to the shovels on display. That's high-tech shopping.

Medicine gets a tech upgrade

IBM predicts big things for medicine, too. As Satell writes, it might just become a little more personalized. One of many problems with modern medicine is that every patient is different. One pill might be perfect for you. It could possibly cause deadly side effects in your neighbor. IBM predicts that within the next five years, doctors are going to be able to sequence your DNA to determine which medicines will work best for you. They'll also be able to access cloud-based services to tap into the newest research and clinical information.