Every year, IBM makes its predictions of what the next five years will hold for the future of technology.  The company has been doing this since 2006, but it came up with a new approach for this year’s list.  Each entry relates to one of our senses and cognitive computing.  The items on this list will enhance each of the senses in the future.

Touch

IBM believes that touchscreens will take things a step further and allow us to feel textures of objects.  Basic technology is already headed in this direction with the REVEL system that was developed with Disney research.  The process is called reverse electrovibration.

Sight

Certain technology that affects digital cameras could be advanced to allow computers to determine the content of photos based on specific features.  The initial benefits would be improving internet searches based on certain criteria.  In the future, it could also lead to medical improvements to recognize tumors in earlier stages and identifying security issues on camera monitors.

Hearing

Predictions from IBM for new hearing technology include such things as the ability to monitor trees for stress sounds that indicate a possible collapse.  It is also supposed to be able to recognize baby cries and interpret them.  Another prediction is that technology will give humans hearing that can translate ultrasonic frequencies.

Taste

IBM thinks that computers will be able to produce meals that are tasty as well as healthy.  This would make it easier to eat nutritious foods without adding extra flavors such as additional salt.

Smell

Artificial noses are already in existence to handle such jobs as sniffing out narcotics and explosives.  It can also detect bacterial infections, but in the future it may be able to detect liver and kidney problems, diabetes, and other health problems.

This is the official list for IBM this year and it provides an interesting look at where developers are headed with the new technology.  We can expect to see improvements in our everyday lives with many of these advances.

[Image via forbes]