Companies around the country are starting to roll out broadband connections with speeds in the gigabit per second range. Currently, typical speeds are about 10 megabits per second and a gigabit per second would be 100 times faster – 1,000 megabits per second. What will that mean? The Pew Research Internet Project wanted to know just that, so they asked thousands of experts how the jump in connection speed would change things by 2025.
The answers clumped around several themes, including:
- Person-to-person connections will happen in virtual space. A lot of socializing and business meetings will take place in fully immersive virtual spaces.
- Real space will be augmented. Experiences in real, physical space will change as a result of connectivity. For example, a simple game of hide-and-seek could take place in an augmented real space.
- Medicine will change with the ability to have a constant stream of information available, along with the ability to visit a doctor without having to physically go to his or her office. Some experts expect telesurgery and robotic surgery to become commonplace by 2025.
- The digital divide will become greater. Lower-income people will fall further behind in their access to technology.
- No one really knows because predicting the future is very difficult and more than a few experts were pessimistic about the chances for major changes.