Last week IBM focused attention on “five technologies that [they] believe have the potential to change the way people work, live, and interact during the next five years.” They call their vision “5 in 5“. The technologies they chose all have to do with enhancing our ability to visualize the world from the micro to the macro level. Here’s what IBM sees in our future.

Diagnosing illness from what people write and say

Mental and physical disorders with a neurophysiological basis such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease can affect the language processing areas in the brain. IBM is applying machine learning algorithms to the speech and written text of individuals with known disorders with the goal of identifying patterns that have diagnostic value. The hope is that diagnostically-relevant speech patterns will aid in the early detection of mental and physical disorders. IBM envisions a possible future where speech detection systems in smartphones can provide early warning of a developing illness or provide clinicians with a tool for monitoring the progress of ongoing treatment plans. You can learn more here.

Hyperimaging makes invisible portions of the electromagnetic spectrum visible

IBM is working on an affordable hyperimaging platform that combines information from across the electromagnetic spectrum and translates it into wavelengths that are visible to the human eye. Information from the radio wave, microwave, infrared and x-ray spectra could be made visible. IBM envisions applications such as a heads-up display in a car window that allows the driver to see black ice on the road or see through fog and rain, or an app that works with your smartphone’s camera to tell you the nutritional value of the food on your plate. You can learn more here.