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  • IBM: We’ll Chat with Holograms in 2015
Jan 2011
ARMONK, N.Y., Jan. 3, 2011 — In the next five years, we will be able to interact with 3-D holograms of our friends in real time, batteries will "breathe" air to power our devices, commutes will be personalized, and you won't need to be a scientist to save the planet. These predictions are part of IBM's fifth annual "Next Five in Five" — a list of innovations based on market and societal trends that have the potential to change the way people work, live and play.

In this still taken from an IBM promotional video, a person projected holographically via a mobile device chats with a colleague in another location. The company envisions such conversations will be commonplace in five years.

3-D interfaces will play a big role in our everyday interactions in 2015 and beyond, according to IBM researchers. Movies and IVs are already moving to 3-D, and as 3-D holographic cameras get more sophisticated and small enough to fit into cell phones, people will be able to interact with photos, browse the Web and chat with friends in entirely new ways.

Scientists at the company and other places are working to improve video chat to become holography chat, or "3-D telepresence." The technique uses light beams scattered from objects and reconstructs a picture of that object, a similar technique to the one human eyes use to see our surroundings. Researchers are working on new ways to visualize 3-D data, such as technology that would allow engineers to step inside their designs, or run simulations of how diseases spread across interactive 3-D globes, or visualize trends happening around the world on Twitter — all in real time and with little or no distortion, IBM said.

Ever wish you could make your laptop battery last all day without needing a charge? Or what about a cell phone that powers up by being carried in your pocket?

In the next five years, advances in transistors and battery technology will allow devices to last about 10 times longer between charges than they do today, and batteries may disappear altogether in smaller devices.

Instead of the heavy lithium-ion batteries used today, scientists are working on batteries that use air to react with energy-dense metal, eliminating a key inhibitor to longer lasting batteries. If successful, the result will be a lightweight, powerful and rechargeable battery capable of powering everything from electric cars to consumer devices.
By rethinking the basic building block of electronic devices, the transistor, IBM is aiming to reduce the amount of energy per transistor to less than 0.5 V. With energy demands this low, we might be able to lose the battery altogether in some devices like mobile phones or e-readers, which could be recharged by simply shaking the device.

Your commute will be personalized

Imagine your commute with no jam-packed highways, no crowded subways, no construction delays and not having to worry about being late for work. In the next five years, advanced analytics technologies will provide personalized recommendations that get commuters where they need to go in the fastest time. Adaptive traffic systems will intuitively learn traveler patterns and behavior to provide more dynamic travel safety and route information to travelers than is available today.
New models are under development, the company said, that will predict the outcomes of varying transportation routes to provide information that goes well beyond traditional traffic reports, after-the fact devices that only indicate where you are already located in a traffic jam, and Web-based applications that give estimated travel time in traffic.

Using new mathematical models and predictive analytics technologies, the researchers will analyze and combine multiple possible scenarios that can affect commuters to deliver the best routes for daily travel, including many factors, such as traffic accidents, commuter's location, current and planned road construction, most traveled days of the week, expected work start times, local events that may impact traffic, alternate options of transportation such as rail or ferries, parking availability and weather.

For example, by combining predictive analytics with real-time information about current travel congestion from sensors and other data, the system could recommend better ways to get to a destination, such as how to get to a nearby mass transit hub, whether the train is predicted to be on time, and whether parking is predicted to be available at the train station. New systems can learn from regular travel patterns where you are likely to go and then integrate all available data and prediction models to pinpoint the best route.

Other innovations on the way in 2015 include the emergence of a class of "citizen scientists" who will contribute data collected by sensors in their phones, cars, wallets and even tweets to create massive data sets for research; and the recycling of thermal energy generated by large data centers to provide hot water for an office or houses.

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An interference pattern that is recorded on a high-resolution plate, the two interfering beams formed by a coherent beam from a laser and light scattered by an object. If after processing, the plate is viewed correctly by monochromatic light, a three-dimensional image of the object is seen.  
The optical recording of the object wave formed by the resulting interference pattern of two mutually coherent component light beams. In the holographic process, a coherent beam first is split into two component beams, one of which irradiates the object, the second of which irradiates a recording medium. The diffraction or scattering of the first wave by the object forms the object wave that proceeds to and interferes with the second coherent beam, or reference wave at the medium. The resulting...
1. A generic term for detector. 2. A complete optical/mechanical/electronic system that contains some form of radiation detector.
The use of head-mounted displays and body-operated remote actuators to control distant machinery. Provides a virtual environment for humans to control devices, robots, etc., in a hostile real environment.
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