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IBM predicts computers that can smell

Johannesburg - IBM has predicted that new computers will be developed in the next five years that can smell and even understand babies before they learn to speak, Business Day reported on Tuesday.

IBM released its “The Next 5 in 5” list in December. The annual announcement is the companies' annual predictions for the next innovations in computing, the paper reported.

Two men walk past an IBM logo. AFP / JOHANNES EISELE. Credit: AFP

“In the next age of computing...hardware and software will gain amazing new human brain-like capabilities to learn, adapt and sense,” said IBM vice-president for innovation Bernie Meyerson.

He said computers would soon have a dictionary of textures that would allow online shoppers to experience the feel of an item via technology.

“By matching variable frequency patterns of vibration to physical objects, when a shopper touches an online image of a silk shirt, the screen of their personal device will emit a vibration sequence that matches what our brain would mentally translate to the feel of soft, easy-flowing silk,” IBM said.

The company said “cognitive computing” would also allow parents to understand their infants and translate their crying. - Sapa

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