Regardless of whether or not they prove true, predictions about what the future will bring are made all the time, and IBM just announced what it thinks will be accomplished by the year 2015.
Each year, IBM performs a survey of 3,000 of its engineers with the goal of estimating five technological breakthroughs that will occur within the next five years.
Of course, some of these predictions eventually prove to be off the mark, such as those that IBM made several years back, like in 2006, among other things.
Four years ago, the company said that, by today, instant speech translation would already be the norm, but the technology is still a long way off from completion, even despite the strides that Google and the like have made in this area.
On the other hand, back in 2007, IBM said that smartphones would act as shopping assistants, banks, brokers, wallets and tickets all in one.
Considering that apps capable of enabling one to perform online banking activities, pay bills, track spending, compare product prices and buy tickets, it is quite possible that this prediction will be fulfilled by 2012.
Thus, while some forecasts that IBM makes may sound a bit too ambitious, some possible milestones may still be reached.
As Bloomberg has it, IBM's latest survey says that, among other things, five technologies will be completed by 2015.
On of them is air-breathing batteries, meaning that they will be made of energy-dense materials that will need only interaction with the air to recharge.
The other noteworthy prediction is that, within five years, holographic phone conversations, projected by one's mobile phones, similar to the ones first seen in the Star Wars movies, will be possible.
The other predictions are of cities powered by computer servers' heat byproducts, traffic jam-predicting computer programs and cer/phone sensors able to generate environmental information.