What does the future hold? Ask IBM

February 6th, 2014

Each year, IBM releases its technology predictions for the next five years. It's a much anticipated event, and this year Forbes columnist Greg Satell had a look at many of the tech innovator's major predictions. What will the next five years hold for technology? Here's a brief look at what may happen, according to IBM.

High-tech classrooms

It's made headlines: U.S. school children have fallen behind their peers in much of the rest of the world, especially when it comes to math and science. What can we do about it? IBM predicts that teachers will have access to more technology, and they'll be able to use this tech to reach a larger number of their students. This would be welcome. As Satell writes, although many U.S. students thrive in our educational system, too many others don't. Tech will help change this.

High-tech retailers

Online shopping is blossoming. But IBM predicts even more impressive retail technology in the next five years. According to Satell's column, the tech giant says that retailers will use tech to send information directly to your smartphone regarding the products you want. If you need a new pair of boots, your favorite retailer can tell your smartphone precisely what products in your shoe size are in stock. You can then send a message to the sales staff detailing what boots you would like to have a look at.

Medicine gets smarter

IBM predicts big things for medicine, as well. 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 cause deadly side effects in your neighbor. IBM, though, 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 most up-to-date research and clinical information.