IBM Predicts Next 5 Life-Changing Tech Innovations - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Information Management
News
12/17/2013
12:36 PM
Doug Henschen
Doug Henschen
Slideshows
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail

IBM Predicts Next 5 Life-Changing Tech Innovations

IBM unveils its annual "5 in 5" list of technology breakthroughs that promise to change how we work and live within five years. Real promise or PR fantasy?
3 of 6

Buying local beats buying online 
Local retailers will fight back and become 'better than e-tailers can ever hope to be,' according to IBM, by merging the tactility and immediacy of physical retail with advances in augmented reality, wearable computing, and location intelligence. Given the sales trends of recent years, that's a pretty bold claim. But IBM says these digital tools will give customers a richer in-store experience, giving retailers an opportunity to create more immersive and personalized shopping experiences.
IBM Research is already working on augmented reality shopping experiences, but can technology overcome the reality of poorly merchandized stores staffed by poorly trained clerks? Chime in with your perspective.

Buying local beats buying online
Local retailers will fight back and become "better than e-tailers can ever hope to be," according to IBM, by merging the tactility and immediacy of physical retail with advances in augmented reality, wearable computing, and location intelligence. Given the sales trends of recent years, that's a pretty bold claim. But IBM says these digital tools will give customers a richer in-store experience, giving retailers an opportunity to create more immersive and personalized shopping experiences.

IBM Research is already working on augmented reality shopping experiences, but can technology overcome the reality of poorly merchandized stores staffed by poorly trained clerks? Chime in with your perspective.

3 of 6
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
D. Henschen
50%
50%
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
12/17/2013 | 3:26:05 PM
Personalization is the theme
Cognitive computing makes it sound like a science experiment. "Personlization technology" is a more user-fiendly term, and it's really what we're talking about here -- personalized teaching, retailing, medicine, security and ... okay, maybe that doesn't fit as well on the cities front.

As for which of these are real and doable within five years, I'd say personalized medicine and responsive, connected city infrastructure are already well along. The cynic in me makes me think physical retailing and education are areas where IBM would like to get lots of consulting bucks, but I have to wonder if anybody can really move the needle with technology alone. As for security, here, too, there's lots of money up for grabs, but IBM isn't the first name I think of when it comes to security. Wouldn't RSA, McAfee or Symantic be more likely to bring this innovation?

To be fair, IBM didn't say it would necessarily lead all these innovations (though it pointed to projects on all five fronts), it just said they're coming. 
ChrisMurphy
50%
50%
ChrisMurphy,
User Rank: Author
12/17/2013 | 8:06:16 PM
Local retail
I agree that local retailers will make digital part of the store experience -- I'm surprised big boxes such as Best Buy haven't made more progress creating a digital experience. But I'm not clear how that experience answers the question of showrooming -- that a person doesn't soak up your store experience and knowledgable staff, and now also your digital experience, and then still buy it for a bit less online. Did I miss that?  
Thomas Claburn
100%
0%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 7:10:53 PM
Re: Local retail
I have my doubts about the viability of local retail. Local shops just can't hold the inventory of e-commerce giants. I can't tell you how many times I've looked for an item in a neighborhood shop, only to find that the store doesn't have the right size, color, or options I'm looking for. Usually, that business ends up going to Amazon or the like.
Laurianne
50%
50%
Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
12/18/2013 | 1:34:02 PM
Classroom Of Future
The classroom vision seems rosy. Changing curriculum involves serious political battles in public schools, as the current controversy over Common Core shows.
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Remote Work Tops SF, NYC for Most High-Paying Job Openings
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/20/2021
Slideshows
Blockchain Gets Real Across Industries
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  7/22/2021
Commentary
Seeking a Competitive Edge vs. Chasing Savings in the Cloud
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/19/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Monitoring Critical Cloud Workloads Report
In this report, our experts will discuss how to advance your ability to monitor critical workloads as they move about the various cloud platforms in your company.
Slideshows
Flash Poll