IBM has unveiled a list of innovations that have the potential to change how people live, work and play in cities around the globe over the next five to ten years:
- Cities will have healthier immune systems
- City buildings will sense and respond like living organisms
- Cars and city buses will run on empty
- Smarter systems will quench cities' thirst for water and save energy
- Cities will respond to a crisis - even before receiving an emergency phone call
An estimated 60 million people are moving to cities and urban areas each year - more than one million every week. The fourth-annual IBM Next 5 in 5 focuses on cities because the world is experiencing unprecedented urbanisation.
"Last year, our planet reached an important milestone - for the first time in history, the majority of the world's population resided in cities," IBM said in a statement.
The IBM Next 5 in 5 is based on market and societal trends expected to transform cities, as well as emerging technologies from IBM's labs around the world that have the potential to turn these predictions into reality.
Cities must simultaneously address increasing populations and deteriorating infrastructure. IBM is already working with cities around the world to make them smarter so they can sustain growth. In the next five years, by infusing intelligence into cities, they will change in the following ways:
Cities will have healthier immune systems
Given their population density, cities will remain hotbeds of communicable diseases. But in the future, public health officials will know precisely when, where and how diseases are spreading - even which neighbourhoods will be affected next.