Warsaw has just housed the newest edition of the Think Warsaw conference, where global tech giant IBM presented the crowds with the newest edition of the 5-in-5 list. The annual publication predicts 5 breakthrough technologies we may see take over the global market within the next five years. Today we’d like to present you with two of the initial predictions.

Blockchain-Powered Crypto-Anchors Could Identify Knock-Offs
Counterfeit products are no longer an issue bound to the sphere of luxury handbags and electronics – the issue has infiltrated the health market too. According to IBM, in some countries, as many as 70% of imported pharmaceuticals are counterfeit, which results in patients unwillingly receiving placebo pills as they try to treat life-threatening issues, like malaria. The answer to the issue may lie in what could be considered the buzzword of the past year: blockchain.
IBM reseachers have found a way to develop tamper-proof digital fingerprints which can be embedded into products, and assure consumers of their authenticity. The so-called crypto-anchors are able to verify that a product’s contents and origin match the blockchain record. In order to suit a variety of products, these crypto-anchors will take many forms: from edible ink on pills, to a sensor smaller than a grain of salt. IBM’s team is also developing a way to authenticate liquid products in a similar way, so that you can be sure that you’re actually being served that 1972 Pinot Noir, and not a refill in a somewhat fancy bottle.


Micro-AI May Save Our Seas and Oceans
The quality of our waters is getting worse each year, and current predictions claim that over half of the world’s population may suffer from water scarcity by 2025. Before we can take any serious steps towards improving the state of the water in our seas and oceans, scientists need to gather extensive data about its current state. One of the most promising methods lies in analysing plankton, which serves as a food of choice for numerous fish species, which, in turn, provide protein for more than a billion humans globally.
Analysing plankton is no easy task, but thankfully, IBM claims to have found a possible solution for the riddle. The company has started the development of AI-powered microscope robots able to study the organisms in their natural habitat. IBM’s researchers aim to place these robots in waters all around the world, and continuously monitor them via cloud technology. This way, they will be able to study plankton’s behavior, and observe its reactions to various incidents, such as changes in temperature, oil spills, and so on. Scientists hope that the network will help them gather data about the components which negatively impact our drinking waters, and issue preventive measures for such scenarios.

Make sure to check-in later this week for the remaining three innovations predicted by IBM!