IBM - a company that has become synonymous with American innovation - recently unveiled its "Five in Five" list of innovations and technological breakthroughs that the world can expect over the next half-decade.
The innovations run the gamut regarding their fields and industries, but reflect the world's increasing bias toward energy efficiency. Notably, IBM predicts modern batteries will become obsolete, with mobile phones running on oxygen-powered batteries by 2015. Developments in the technical applications of static and kinetic energy may even replace those altogether.
"If successful, the result will be a lightweight, powerful and rechargeable battery capable of powering everything from electric cars to consumer devices," IBM said.
Recalling many childhood sci-fi fantasies, IBM also foresees the development and eventual ubiquity of holograms as a means of distant communication, likely projected from users' cellphones or computers.
The New York-based tech giant also projects the growth of self-sustaining computing facilities, wherein naturally generated heat is recycled and then used to cool systems.
What's more, IBM's idea of "adaptive traffic systems" has commuters taking personalized and computerized traffic routes that minimize congestion on a massive scale.
Finally, the company predicts the development of "citizen scientists" - individuals who collect large amounts of data through sensors on their mobile phones, cars or wallets and then transmit that information to scientists for subsequent research applications.
With the developments in technology over the past year, particularly in the fields of mobile and cloud computing, it is difficult to predict how things will look five years from now. But efforts by IBM and other experts exemplify the nature of an increasingly innovation-focused economy - one where IP management is paramount.