IBM Mind Reading Technology Coming Soon

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IBM 5 in 5:

As IBM are far from a newcomer to technology, they are in fact 100 years old, and with this pedigree, IBM may well be better positioned than most to offer insights into what might happen in the future in relation to technological advancements, and with that in mind it is nice to see that IBM are not averse to a little fun when it comes to predicting the future and so the “IBM 5 in 5” was born, essentially 5 predictions that might, or might not, come true in the next 5 years.

IBM "5 in 5" 2011
IBM "5 in 5" 2011

The research and presentation is based on societal trends and research from IBM who started life, and based in New York state.

So what has IBM predicted might come true for the globe in 2017?

“From Houdini to Skywalker to X-Men, mind reading has merely been wishful thinking for science fiction fans for decades, but their wish may soon come true,”


  • Mobile phones will narrow the digital divide between “haves and have-nots” by making information easily accessible.
  • Retina scans of recognition of faces or voices used to confirm who people are rather than typing in passwords.
  • IBM scientists are among those researching how to link your brain to your devices, such as a computer or a smartphone.
  • Technology will also be able to produce electric power from any types of movement from walking or bicycle riding to water flowing through pipes of homes.
  • Junk email will be eliminated by smarter filtering and masterful targeting of ads people like.


IBM went on to give examples of ringing someone up by just thinking it, or making a cursor do what you want with your noggin and making it do an action.

Here is the list in more detail with videos from IBM:


The digital divide will cease to exist. In our global society, growth and wealth of economies are decided by the level of access to information. And in five years, the gap between information haves and have-nots will cease to exist due to the advent of mobile technology.


You will be able to power your home with the energy you create yourself. Advances in renewable energy technology will allow individuals and scientists to collect this created energy and use it to help power our homes, workplaces and cities.


You will never need a password again. Your biological makeup is the key to your individual identity, and soon, it will become the key to safeguarding it.

Mind reading:

Mind reading is no longer science fiction. IBM scientists are researching how to link your brain to your devices, such as a computer or a smartphone, so you just need to think about calling someone and it happens.


Junk mail will become priority mail. In five years, unsolicited advertisements may feel so personalized and relevant it may seem spam is dead.

The idea behind the “5 in 5” predictions was born in 2006 to encourage grand ideas that could help people at IBM think a little more out of the box.

“If you give people a grand challenge you push them to really innovate. That’s when extraordinary things can happen.”

And some past predictions that have essentially come true are:


  • We will be able to access healthcare remotely from just about anywhere in the world.
  • Technologies the size of a few atoms will address areas of environmental importance.
  • You will have a crystal ball for your health.
  • You will talk to the Web and the Web will talk back.


Though I now take these lists with a pinch of salt after buying the economist end of year 2008 magazine that predicted the potential for a global financial meltdown to be unlikely and a global recession would pass!

Anthony Munns