IBM Plans to Extend UI to All 5 Senses

IBM has released a series of videos that forecast the future of computing in five years’ time.  Rather than talking about processing power, memory capability and miniaturization, IBM has pegged their new projects to our 5 senses.

So how do engineers at IBM see our future interactions with our computers playing out? Lets take a look.


“Five years from now, you will be able to touch through your phone.”

“IBM is working on bringing a sense of touch to mobile devices, and bringing together virtual and real world experiences for a number of industries including retail. Shoppers will be able to “feel” the texture and weave of a fabric or product by brushing their finger over the item’s image on a device’s screen.”


“In five years, computers will be able to not only look at images… but understand them.”

“Computers will be trained to turn pictures and videos into features, identifying things like color distribution, texture patterns, edge information and motion information. A pixel will be worth a thousand words.”


“In five years, computers will hear what matters.”

“Hearing systems of the future will be trained by ‘listening’ to sounds and will use this input to start detecting patterns and building models to decompose sounds. Machines will be used to predict when a tree might fall or to translate “baby talk” so parents understand if a baby’s fussing indicates hunger, tiredness or pain.”


“In five years, computers will know what you like to eat better than you do.”

“A machine that experiences flavor will determine the precise chemical structure of food and why people like it. Not only will it get you to eat healthier, but it will also surprise us with unusual pairings of foods that are designed to maximize our experience of taste and flavor. Digital taste buds will help you to eat smarter.”


“In five years, computers will have a sense of smell.”

“We will see vast advances where sensors will be equipped to smell potential diseases that feed back into a cognitive system to tell us if they suspect a possible health issue. Your phone will detect if you’re coming down with a cold or illness before you do.”

It’s possible that all of these predictions will miss their mark, but one thing is for certain, IBM is headed in the right direction by making machines and software that interact with our senses.

Read More at IBM

Images and Video Courtesy of IBM