IBM's Five in Five 2011 predicts mind-controlled devices, goodbye to passwords

IBM has released its sixth-annual Five in Five predictions of the top five technologies that will become commonplace within the next five years. The predictions include self-powered homes through recycling kinetic energy, the replacement of passwords with biometric data, and mind-controlled devices that obey your thoughts.

Researchers at IBM are working on ways to connect the human mind to computers and smartphones, such that phone calls can be placed by simply thinking. IBM has been working on bioinformatics headsets that can read electrical brain activity and recognize facial expressions and see this technology applied first in gaming and entertainment within the next five years.

The company also sees recycling kinetic energy, such as capturing heat from a computer, walking, jogging, or cycling to be able to help power homes, cities, and workplaces. It believes that passwords will be a thing of the past, with computers being able to use eye-sensing or voice recognition technology to authenticate biometric data.

Additionally, it believes that 80 percent of the global population will have a mobile device by 2017 as both the poor and rich will have more access to mobile technology. And lastly, IBM predicts the end of junk mail because ads will become so personalized to users that they will no longer be considered spam.

[via IBM]