However farfetched your idea of ‘the future’ is, it’s not unreasonable to claim that the future is right on our doorstep, especially when it comes to improving technologies. Gone are the sluggish days of the IBM PC and dial-up modems, now replaced with frequent innovation and invention that have steadily made processes more efficient and sent information that little bit faster.

In light of that, some questions need to be answered. What happens when we reach our peak? What happens when we can process and send information in an instant? Well, if current events are anything to go by, that may be within our sights – time to welcome an instant future.

A recently published article by Pew Research Center and Elon University, titled ‘Killer Apps in the Gigabit Age’, documents the opinions of 1,464 “experts and internet builders” on what gigabit connectivity could mean for society. It would be difficult to sum up this article in brief, but the below quote may hammer home a message:

“The connection between humans and technology will tighten as machines gather, assess, and display real-time personalized information in an ‘always-on’ environment.”

Sadly, that vision exists as nothing more than a pipe dream, as this gigabit network isn’t expected to be established until 2025 – but it shows how the digital world is starting to change, especially when it comes to an ‘always-on environment’.

Look at the developments that are already happening in the technology sector. 5G should arrive by 2020, and with it, the capacity to download an entire feature film in a second. The recently released Amazon Fire smartphone has a nifty camera feature that recognises everyday objects and will add them to a user’s basket, if available. Even the physical world is becoming a piece of technology of its own, processing data streams and responding to the complexity of the environment with great understanding.

Having information run through almost anything, with limited restrictions on being able to download and use goods and services, spells big potential for public and corporate sectors. But that potential could also be a warning sign, and companies may need to adapt if they are to keep up with the wave of change.

Regardless of whether these developments happen when expected, or what dangers they may bring, it’s safe to say that there are still plenty more benefits to reap from the Digital Age.