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In December 2011 IBM unveiled its fifth annual “Next Five in Five” – a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work.

The Next Five in Five is based on market and societal trends expected to transform our lives, as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s Labs around the world that can make these innovations possible.

According to IBM in the next five years, technology innovations will dramatically change people’s lives. The Next 5 in 5 of 2011 enlists a couple of optimistic predictions like the elimination of passwords, and batteries that breathe air to power our devices, and most importantly for us, mind-reading applications.

IBM scientists are among those researching how to link your brain to your devices, such as a computer or a smartphone. If you just need to think about calling someone, it happens. Or you can control the cursor on a computer screen just by thinking about where you want to move it.

According to IBM, within 5 years, we will begin to see some more advanced applications of this technology in the gaming and entertainment industry. asked Kevin Brown of IBM Software Group’s Emerging Technologies who thinks huge leaps are coming in bioinformatics, specifically using sensors to understand human thought.

“While much of the brain remains a mystery, progress has been made in understanding and reading electrical brain activity were we can use computers to see how the brain responds to facial expressions, excitement and concentration levels, and the thoughts of a person without them physically taking any actions,” wrote Brown.

“By 2017, like all technology, the Emotiv EPOC or other similar technologies will probably get smaller,” Brown wrote. “So I can imagine it will have completely dry sensors, and I’d be wearing it all the time, perhaps embedded into a baseball cap, and with a finer range of thought patterns detected and connected directly to my mobile phone – allowing me to interact with the world just by thinking particular thoughts.”