Bell Labs president projects long-term nanotech

From JoongAng Daily in Korea:

“In the next five to 10 years, mobile phone users will be able to detect changes in the facial expressions and even in the smell of the person they are talking to, according to Jeong Kim, president of Bell Labs, the research arm of the U.S. firm Lucent Technololgies.

“As part of a five-day business trip here, Mr. Kim met with reporters in southern Seoul yesterday to introduce cutting-edge future technologies and offer predictions on the world’s information-technology industry.

“Elaborating on the new cell phone technology developed by the laboratory, Mr. Kim said that smell-transmitting sensors, lenses that follow the movement of eyeballs and microphones as narrow as a human hair already exist, and would be on sale within a decade.

“Mr. Kim said nanotechnology — techniques used to create structures as small as one-millionth of a millimeter — had played a key role in the development of the new technologies.

“Mr. Kim predicted that nanotechnology could bring huge changes to the way humans live, citing the example of a new computer that will enable simultaneous translation of telephone conversations.

” ‘If nanotechnology maintains its current pace of development, it will give birth to a computer that has the information processing capacity equivalent to every human brain combined by 2060,’ he said.

“Mr. Kim said that while communication technologies have so far mostly focused on speed, future developments will look to improve their convenience. Eventually, he added, phones will no longer need to be touched or even spoken to, but will instead respond to mental commands.”

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