When's the next big thing coming then? When can we expect the next paradigm shift? If you ever get asked this question, the answer is simple -- about five years.
It's a safe bet, just think about it -- five years ago we were barely talking about cloud computing, mass broadband rollout and tablet computers.
IBM is pretty good at hypothesising on future trends; the company's alphaWorks division is built with a mix of both pure and applied research and has produced tangible technology advancements in Unstructured Information Management (UIMA), autonomic computing and grid computing technologies before now.
So what does IBM think we'll be doing with computing technologies in five years time?
The company has just released its 6th annual IBM Five in Five predictions list (see what they did there?) to look forward thusly.
If these predictions progress to becoming real products, the could have a significant impact upon both the new opportunities for software developers to build with these technologies and us, the users who will use them.
Here's a summary:
You will make your own energy: Anything that moves has the potential to create energy. Your running shoes, your bicycle and even the water flowing through your pipes can create energy.
You will not need a password: Your biological makeup is the key to your individual identity and soon, it will become the key to safeguarding it. Biometrics will witness a new renaissance says IBM.
Mind reading is no longer science fiction: Scientists are researching how to link your brain to your devices, such as a computer or a smartphone, so you just need to think about calling someone and it happens.
The digital divide will cease to exist: In five years, the gap between information haves and have-nots will narrow considerably due to advances in mobile technology.
Junk mail will become priority mail: In five years, unsolicited advertisements may feel so personalised and relevant it may seem spam is dead. At the same time, spam filters will be so precise you'll never be bothered by unwanted sales pitches again.