IBM imagines a computer that smells your illness

Each year Big Blue's research arm makes five big predictions about we could see in five years. This year, IBM predicts that all five senses will become more entwined with our devices.

IBM's research arm thinks it sees the future, and smells it, and hears, and tastes it... IBM

For the past several years, IBM's research arm has been making predictions about emerging technologies that will change our lives over the next five years. Dubbed "5 in 5," the annual year-end list has already accurately predicted the rise of now-familiar cultural touchstones like Siri , as well as our reliance on smartphones for everything, and real-time speech translation.

This year, IBM has taken a more in-your-face approach to predicting the future of innovation, by specifically focusing on, well, the face and the five senses that make their home there (and yes, hands and everywhere else in the case of touch).

IBM thinks that by the time our 45th president is in office in 2017 , we'll be able to touch things and feel their virtual surfaces through our devices; get diet help from digital taste buds; give our computers their own sense of smell; and get new help in the sight and hearing departments as well. Collectively, IBM calls it cognitive computing.

Scroll through the gallery below for more details. Then tell us what you think of Big Blue's predictions.

About the author

Crave freelancer Eric Mack is a writer, radio producer, and podcaster based in Taos, N.M., but he lives in Google+. He's also managing editor of Crowdsourcing.org and has written e-books on both Alaska and Android. E-mail Eric.

 

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