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SOLAR technology in clothes, "talking" to the Internet and personal "digital sh opping assistants:" these innovations will take place in five years or less, IB M said. Now on its third year, IBM's annual Next Five in Five lis ts down innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years. IBM says its list is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM's Labs around the world th at can make these innovations possible. "These technologies are in different stages of development right now, and the w ork done in IBM labs all over the world contributes to making these trends into reality," said Lope Doromal, chief technologist for IBM Philippines. Here are IBM's top five innovations forecasted to shape the world -- and human life-- within the next five years: Energy saving solar technology will be built into asphalt, p aint and windows. In the next five years, solar energy will be an affo rdable option for you and your neighbors. Until now, the materials and the proc ess of producing solar cells to convert into solar energy have been too costly for widespread adoption. But now this is changing with the creation of "thin-fi lm" solar cells, a new type of cost-efficient solar cell that can be 100 times thinner than silicon-wafer cells and produced at a lower cost. These new thin-f ilm solar cells can be "printed" and arranged on a flexible backing, suitable f or not only the tops, but also the sides of buildings, tinted windows, cell pho nes, notebook computers, cars and even clothing. You will have a crystal ball for your health. In the next five years, your doctor will be able to provide you with a genetic map that tells y ou what health risks you are likely to face in your lifetime and the specific t hings you can do to prevent them, based on your specific DNA -- all for less th an $200. Ever since scientists discovered how to map the entire human genome, it has ope ned new doors in helping to unlock the secrets our genes hold to predicting hea lth traits and conditions we may be predisposed to. Doctors can use this inform ation to recommend lifestyle changes and treatments. Pharmaceutical companies w ill also be able to engineer new, more effective medications that are targeted for each of us as individual patients. Genetic mapping will radically transform healthcare over the next five years and allow you to take better care of yours elf. You will talk to the Web. . .and the Web will talk back. In th e future, you will be able to surf the Internet, hands-free, by using your voic e -- therefore eliminating the need for visuals or keypads. New technology will change how people create, build and interact with information and e-commerce w ebsites -- using speech instead of text. In places like India, where the spoken word is more prominent than the written word in education, government and culture, "talking" to the Web is leapfrogging all other interfaces, and the mobile phone is outpacing the PC. In the future, through the use of "voice sites," people without access to a personal computer and Internet, or who are unable to read or write, will be able to take advanta ge of all the benefits and conveniences the Web has to offer. You will have your own digital shopping assistants. A combinat ion of new technology and the next wave of mobile devices will give the in-stor e shopping experience a significant boost. Fitting rooms soon will be outfitted with digital shopping assistants -- touch screen and voice activated kiosks th at will allow you to choose clothing items and accessories to complement, or re place, what you already selected. Once you make your selections, a sales associ ate is notified and will gather the items and bring them directly to you. You'll also be able to snap photos of yourself in different combinations and em ail or SMS them to your friends and family for the thumbs upâ¦or the thumbs dow n. Shoppers can access product ratings and reviews from fellow consumers and wi ll even be able to download money-saving coupons and instantly apply them to th eir purchases. Forgetting will become a distant memory. In the next five year s, it will become much easier to remember what to buy at the grocery store, whi ch errands need to be run, who you spoke with at a conference, where and when y ou agreed to meet a friend, or what product you saw advertised at the airport. That's because such details of everyday life will be recorded, stored, analyzed , and provided at the appropriate time and place by both portable and stationar y smart appliances. To help make this possible, microphones and video cameras w ill record conversations and activities. The information collected will be auto matically stored and analyzed on a personal computer. People can then be prompt ed to "remember" what discussions they had, for example, with their daughter or doctor by telephone. Based on such conversations, smart phones equipped with global-positioning tech nology might also remind them to pick up groceries or prescriptions if they pas s a particular store at a particular time. It's not hard to imagine that TVs, r emote controls, or even coffee table tops, can one day be the familiar mediums through which we tap into our digitally stored information.



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