Elon University

The 2014 Survey: In 2025 – Killer apps in a gigabit age (Credited Responses)

This page contains only the for-credit written responses from Internet experts and stakeholders who answered this question in the 2014 Pew Research/Elon University Future of the Internet Survey. Some survey respondents chose to identify themselves; a majority remained anonymous. We share most of the for-credit respondents’ written elaborations here. Workplaces are attributed for the purpose of indicating a level of expertise; statements reflect personal views. To read the full report, click the image below.

Credited responses by those who answered this survey question

Link to Full SurveyInternet experts and highly engaged netizens participated in answering an eight-question survey fielded by Elon University and the Pew Internet Project from late November 2013 through early January 2014.

This survey question asked respondents to share their answer to the following query:

New killer apps in the gigabit age: Will there be new, distinctive, and uniquely compelling technology applications that capitalize upon significant increases in bandwidth in the US between now and 2025? Please elaborate on your answer. Explain why you think there will be hardly any change or tell what new tools and applications will excite people in the next decade and envision the kinds of personal connectivity and immersive media experiences that will seize the public imagination. 

Among the key themes emerging from more than 1,400 respondents’ answers were: Experts foresee changes across all aspects of life as connectivity advances. Some said people’s basic interactions and their ability to ‘be together’ and collaborate will change in the age of vivid telepresence—enabling people to instantly “meet face-to-face” in cyberspace with no travel necessary. Some believe that augmented reality will extend people’s sense and understanding of their real-life surroundings, and virtual reality will make some spaces, such as gaming worlds and other simulated environments, even more compelling places to hang out. They expect that the connection between humans and technology will tighten as machines gather, assess, and display real-time personalized information in an ‘always-on’ environment. This integration will affect many activities—including thinking, the documentation of life events (‘life-logging’), and coordination of daily schedules. They predicts that specific economic and social sectors will be especially impacted; health/medicine and education were mentioned often. Some said new digital divides may open as people gain opportunities on different timelines and with different tools. Some said they expect that advances will be far more gradual for various reasons, saying that bandwidth is not the issue or saying that the US will continue to lag by 2025 because a widespread gigabit network is not easily achieved.

To read full official survey analysis, please click here.

To read anonymous responses to the report, please click here.

Following is a large sample including a majority of the responses from survey participants who chose to take credit for their remarks in the survey; some are the longer versions of expert responses that are contained in the official survey report. About half of respondents chose to take credit for their elaboration on the question (anonymous responses are published on a separate page). They were asked: “Will there be new, distinctive, and uniquely compelling technology applications that capitalize on significant increases in bandwidth in the US between now and 2025?”

Patrick Tucker, author of The Naked Future: What Happens in a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? observed, “Today, large organizations, including corporations and government agencies, use personal data to make predictions about the behavior or individuals. In the next 10 years users will have access to a variety of apps that constantly collect and analyze data to output personalized predictions, which will better enable users to avoid coercive marketing and learn more about themselves. Big data will shrink to become personalized data in app form as every individual user develops a much better understanding of how her behavior influences her rapidly-evolving future.”

David Weinberger, senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, responded, “There could be full, always-on, 360-degree environmental awareness, a semantic overlay on the real world, full-presence MOOCs [massive, open, online courses], plus Skype won’t break up nearly as much.”

Paul Saffo, managing director at Discern Analytics and consulting associate professor at Stanford University, wrote, “Never underestimate the transformative power of Moore’s law. The fastest growth will be communications options aimed at machines as data consumers. Your devices will subscribe to content and apps on your behalf. Smartphones will disappear rapidly.”

Jason Hong, associate professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, responded, “Odds are high that there will be breakthroughs, but guessing what those are is pretty hard. My best guesses would be: (a) far better telepresence, in terms of video quality, audio quality, robotic control, and time (for example: open all the time rather than just a short time for video conferencing); (b) a few people starting to use life-logging technologies to capture everything in their lives (with some people choosing to share those); (c) higher adoption of telesurgery and remote medical support; (d) some new kind of entertainment, possibly including new kinds of social media; (e) more sensor data being continuously captured and stored, including those embedded in the city (for bridges and buildings), cars, smart phones, portable home medical devices, and toys; (f) better search for multimedia, especially videos (g) more cloud-based apps, offering far richer software-as-a-service than we can do today. Examples might include more thin client net books with all of the backend stored in the cloud, or full apps that are currently desktop apps offered as a cloud service (think Adobe suite, games or Microsoft office fully in the cloud). This last one is a really interesting one, as it’s not so much a killer new app, but a new, and in some ways better, way of doing what we’re already doing. Cloud computing is sort of like that: we could already do everything that cloud computing offered, but cloud services just made the economic model, programming model, and maintenance much easier.”

Micha Benolie, CEO and co-founder of Open Garden, “The gigabit age will pave the way for the real-time big-data mesh that will power the AI required to power the ultimate automated systems or robots.”

Jonathan Grudin, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, commented, “I expect that the management of networks of embedded sensors and effectors will be the largest change between now and 2025, sensors everywhere—on property, on our clothes, on (and perhaps in) our bodies, all of it feeding digital information to be processed on servers or filtered and passed to the cloud. By 2025 small devices might be powered by harvested energy, in which case the possibilities expand dramatically. On the receiving end of this massive information flow will be large displays at work and in many homes through which vast quantities of information can be rapidly visualized. We have lagged in exploiting this because it is more difficult to model or demo than a simple application, but it will come.”

Jim Hendler, a professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, wrote, “’Telepresence’ will be a driving application in the workforce, and thus the ability to have multi-person meetings without travel will be enhanced significantly.”

Marcel Bullinga, a technology futures speaker, trend watcher, and futurist, replied, “No doubt the killer app will be real-life holograms operating in real-time: as doctors, as surgeons, as coworkers. It will change the workplace. Not only will it diminish business travel, it will also increase competition in the labor market immensely. Whereas before you had to compete with fellow humans in the same physical area, immigrants for example, in the future you have to compete with ‘cloud immigrants’—coworkers appearing in their work as a hologram.”

John Markoff, a senior writer for the Science section of the New York Times, wrote, “Two words (not just ‘plastics’)—Augmented Reality.”

John Lazzaro, a research specialist and visiting lecturer in computer science at the University of California-Berkeley, predicted, “By 2025, the network number of interest won’t be bandwidth, but will be the geographic radius that supports interactions with others people in the 1-10 MS range. For example, the latency between the Stanford and Berkeley campuses has a median value of about 2 MS, which is about the acoustic latency between two people standing 2.5 feet apart. This latency supports applications like networked musical performance, defined as musicians located in distant physical locations interacting as if they were in the same room, and many other telepresence applications. These applications have been prototyped in research settings for several decades now, and several generations of startups have attempted to bring them to market—gaming companies in particular. It didn’t work out, because the odds of having a network connection with sufficiently low latency to make the experience good were too low, and only the most ardent of early adopters were willing to suffer through it. I think by 2025, enough people will have sufficiently low latency within their local metropolitan region. Nvidia’s recent investments in cloud gaming is a data point in this regard—they wouldn’t be running trials if they didn’t think we were getting close. Once the network is there, attention will turn to getting the right product idea and executing it, and one or more of them will take off, and have the scale of success of a Facebook or a Twitter.”

Joe Touch, director of the Information Sciences Institute’s Postel Center at the University of Southern California, responded, “Approaches and solutions change when a property shifts from being a constraint to being a resource, i.e., when it shifts from being part of the challenge to being part of the solution. We’ve seen that shift happen with CPU power, memory, and storage (disk) already, and we’ll soon start to see bandwidth in that light. The fundamental constraint is time—it’s fundamentally what we care about, and it’s the one thing we can’t speed up. We can trade bandwidth for latency; I explored this 25 years ago in my thesis, and the time is now becoming ready for that approach.”

Chris Donley, director of advanced networks and applications for CableLabs, responded, “Yes, applications plural. I don’t think there will be a single ‘killer app.’ Instead, we’ll see migration of our digital lives to the cloud—wherever that may be (part will be in the home/workplace, and part will be widely distributed in datacenters). It will be like smart phones—everyone will customize their service using apps, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all package. Bandwidth has been increasing at Moore’s Law rates since the 1980s. I don’t see that slowing down any time soon, but I can’t imagine exactly what people will be doing with 10 gigabits per second to their homes.”

Jerry Michalski, founder of REX, the Relationship Economy eXpedition, wrote, “If someone had told me in 2005 that there was room between blogging and instant messaging for an application I would like and use more than either, I would have said it was impossible. Yet I use Twitter all the time. So by 2025, a long time from now, I’m certain several innovations like that will have taken place. That said, I don’t think full-time, high-definition video, the obvious higher-bandwidth application, is the answer. Google Glass is facing backlash already, videoconferencing is interesting but not compelling. One possibility, if we turn back copyright laws (egregious at their current terms) and help people weave a context for their lives, is that we’ll have a rich Internet of content in context, representing many different points of view. This will allow us to dive deeper into conversations than the superficial modes of today’s discourse, where the same shallow ideas are repeated over and over. Context will give us depth, which will help us solve major social problems.”

Paul Jones, a professor at the University of North Carolina and founder of ibiblio.org, responded, “More visual information that can be scanned and reconfigured and customized for the needs of the moment will be the hallmark of the next 10 years. Significant increases in bandwidth will remove some of the barriers to that end. Expect this information to be 3D and easily manipulated. Expect a new era of literacies more special than ever available to us.”

Jane Vincent, a fellow at the Digital World Research Centre, responded, “While the United States has been ahead on developing Internet applications via personal computers and laptops, it has been a laggard in regard to the implementation of mobile communications. Some of the new tools that will excite may thus be developments of applications that work seamlessly across the United States and the globe are probably those that are already in use elsewhere and will reach the everyday population of the United States via its transnational global communities. I could imagine disaster recovery and management being a key beneficiary, as well as gaming and gambling.”

Susan Etlinger, an industry analyst for the Altimeter Group predicted, “In the next 10 years, we’ll see tremendous advances in the fields of automation (robotics) and information (data). We’re already seeing the emergence of drones for simple commercial use; in time, these devices will be invested with more complex intelligence and a more sophisticated range of uses and decision-making capability. We’ll also continue to see blurring of the lines between physical and virtual reality, as well as an infusion of social, linguistic, and neuroscientific research into technology development. New and more complex big data streams—images, sensor data, sound files, video, natural language—will continue to challenge us, however, as there is a limit to the ability of algorithms to account for human language and behavior. As a result, we’ll need to see dramatic advances in machine-learning capability. This will invest machines with a kind of sentience, although one far removed from the dystopian vision of a William Gibson. Our struggles with privacy, identity and ethics will continue to be challenged as technology advancements exceed our capacity to understand their implications.”

Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google, responded, “Entertainment appliances, environmental control systems, and security alarm systems will all benefit from third-party service providers managing these systems on our behalf. Smart cities will amass substantial information in real time to deal with traffic, power generation, and distribution. High-speed connectivity means streaming will be replaced by download/playback except for real-time events. Group interaction and perhaps 3D video will become a reality. Already we see a lot of the former in Google’s Hangouts. 3D printing will lead to completely new supply chains including for raw materials. Designs will be transferred on the Net and devices will be created at the end points with 3D printing and manual or automatic assembly.”

Mattia Crespi, president of Qbit Technologies LLC, responded, “Virtual reality online will be possible. Large networked processing power, hyper-connected devices, bio-technology, DNA engineering, and human-machine integration will enable us to simulate a parallel reality. A gigabit network will enable quantum processing power to be networked.”

Stacey Higginbotham, a Texas-based technology writer and frequent blogger for GigaOM, commented, “The gigabit age will dawn gradually, but as it does I think the way we interact with computers will change fundamentally. Low-latency connections to the cloud mean all information is available. Advances in projection, computer vision, and wearables mean that computing won’t be limited to screens. Thus, you can make a verbal request in your kitchen to order pizza and it will happen. Or, you can request a recipe and see both it, and the video instructions for making it on your counter. It might even be possible to overlay instructions for how to filet a fish for example, on top of the fish you are preparing. You could do something similar inside the operating room letting surgeons essentially see inside patients even if they are doing Laparoscopic surgery (possibly from afar using robots and that low-latency gigabit connection). These technologies are available today, but we need to put them together. Gigabit connectivity is one component. In terms of schooling and work, it could happen in your home, which could change the way homes are designed in order to offer privacy and minimize distractions. If you take gigabit networks and software defined networks, you could parcel out elements of a home network to serve as a neighborhood shared network that might aggregate video camera views and info outside people’s homes or provide connectivity for ambulances and public safety when they are driving through. You could even view millions of gigabit homes containing hundreds of computers (actual computers but also smart appliances or set top boxes) and run software that aggregates them, creating a neighborhood data center. Imagine everyone running the equivalent of a SETI@home program [an Internet-based public volunteer effort] to provide compute capacity for a charity or even a corporation.”

Mark Johnson, CTO and vice president for architecture at MCNC, wrote, “We are approaching the post-bandwidth era where we are not constantly limited by the capabilities of our connections. We’ll expect to be able to access and control everything we own that uses electricity all the time from any location using a device we always have with us. We won’t think about ‘phones’ and ‘television’ as distinct things or even as services any more.”

Fred Baker, Internet pioneer, longtime leader in the IETF and Cisco Systems Fellow, responded, “The current exponential growth of the network seems to show that connectivity is its own reward, and is more valuable than any individual application such as mail or the World-Wide Web. Today we use massive bandwidth for Map/Reduce and related applications, as well as communication at a distance. Obvious uses for communication capability at a distance include high-resolution hologram-like displays. But the biggest growth will be in machine-to-machine communications.”

Jim Kennedy, senior vice president for strategy for the Associated Press, responded, “The bandwidth revolution has driven the digital age from the start, and we are on the cusp of a day when connectivity will be like the air we breathe. At that stage, everything and everybody can be connected for a continuous flow of information and data exchange that can add a ‘meta’ layer to almost every human experience. The gadgets we have today are just the start. The killer apps of the future will take advantage of the ones that have already emerged: connectivity, search, sharing, touch, gestures, location awareness, and virtual reality, among others.”

Robert Cannon, Internet law and policy expert, wrote, “The Internet of Things. We are moving into a ubiquitously connected era where, increasingly, humans are online all the time. This is a future of smart phones, fit bits, GPS, recreational devices tracking our exercise achievements, health monitoring devices, and more. We are moving into an era anticipated by J.C.R. Licklider and Doug Engelbart where the smart device becomes the assistant to the knowledge worker, and to frankly everyone doing everything. But, as the Internet of Things anticipates, we move beyond network humans to networked devices, where sensors and monitors and databases constantly interact creating information. Pew’s early work found that in moving from dial-up to broadband, it wasn’t that there was a killer app or people did different things—it was that people did more things online more often. Having an always on, broadband connection made online resources easily available. And yet the ‘killer app’ has, for the most part, been the same ‘killer app’ since 1972: email and messaging. Will there be a killer app in the future that changes everything? Maybe—but certainly what will change is that everything will be networked and everything will be providing information and interacting.”

Stewart Baker, a partner at Steptoe & Johnson, a Washington law firm, wrote, “The Internet of Things will use growing bandwidth to create a kind of sensory Web that knows where we are and what we are doing at all times. Big data will begin to tease surprising new social and medical innovations from that web.”

Evan Michelson, a researcher exploring the societal and policy implications of emerging technologies, predicted, “Augmented reality will expand in unimagined ways. Movies that you watch on your phone will be interactive. Want to buy the shirt that your favorite character is wearing? Click on it and buy it with currency, or in exchange for time (in your time bank account). Is the statue on the desk in the sitcom you are watching not available? Have it 3D printed on-demand and sent to you by drone messenger. While at work, perhaps you will be able to interact with virtual holograms at your desk—the distribution of telepresence to every knowledge worker.”

Richard Forno, director of the UMBC Graduate Cybersecurity Program and affiliate at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, wrote, “The Internet of Things will continue expanding and require more bandwidth to function effectively and network between its nodes. Streaming services—a major expansion of telepresence—likely will require an order-of-magnitude increase in data requirements.”

Judith Donath, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, responded, –Telemedicine will be an enormous change in how we think of health care. Some will be from home—especially chronically ill or elderly patients will be released from hospitals with a kit of sensors that a home nurse can use. For others, drugstores (or private clinic chains—fast meds, analogous to fast foods) will have booths that function as remote examining, treatment, and simple surgery rooms. (The next big food fad, after hipster locavores, will be individualized scientific diets, based on the theory that each person’s unique genetics, locations, and activities mean that she requires a specific diet, specially formulated each day). Augmented reality is another big future application that, for complex shared images, will require gigabit connectivity and very accurate sensing.”

Bryan Alexander, a technology consultant and senior fellow at the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education, responded, “Yes, and some will be developments of technologies we know now, namely video and gaming. Video content seems to be a form humans simply adore. The long-term trends of television and older film demonstrate this, as does the medium-term part of Web video’s popularity. Increased bandwidth is already leading to sharper definition (think HD, retina displays) and larger display sizes. Expect full-wall displays. Videoconferencing is powering up, becoming more robust reach month. We are more accustomed to it, and the medium soaks up every bit of bandwidth it can. Imagine talking with peers through your video wall, as large as life. Gaming has become a planetary culture industry, and often relies on Internet connections for downloads, socialization, p2p gaming, security, etc. Game designers constantly push the resolution and display envelope; more bandwidth encourages this. We should expect new forms of gaming to emerge, such as ones integrating daily life with games (think Kinect or Alternate Reality Games) or more immersive forms (play with that video wall).”

David Ellis, course director for the Department of Communication Studies at York University in Toronto, commented, “There’s a prior question: Will increases in bandwidth up to a gigabit materialize by 2025? A lot of developments continue to conspire against this outcome. One, the access business stays firmly on the path to concentration, especially on the cable side. Two, and despite the foregoing, the integrated ISPs in Canada and the United States have a vested interest in continuing to treat bandwidth as scarce and expensive. Three, a conservative school of thought continues to argue that the status of US (and Canadian) broadband is just fine, while invidious comparisons with other developed nations are irrelevant or misleading. Four, the progress in municipal WiFi and fiber alternatives, and other carrier-neutral transmission platforms, is still not very encouraging, in part because of the extent to which the incumbents have convinced many US jurisdictions that publicly-funded connectivity should be outlawed. Five, the FCC’s pushback against further entrenchment by the incumbents on the content side (Open Internet Order) seems likely to get tossed by the DC Circuit this year. Here’s another way to reframe this question: the killer app won’t be an app, it’ll be the ability to do exactly what I want to do online, affordably, conveniently, and without financial or technical interference from my ISP. Now that the public Internet can replicate pretty much every function of our work, play, and personal lives, the unfettered exercise of personal choice online is what will feel compelling to most people. For those end-users who do experience a qualitative jump in their available bandwidth and thus in their online experience by 2025, the most notable differences will involve the most popular activities, still led by the use of search engines and email. One other common factor that cuts across online activities and user profiles is video, which will have a crucial role to play in the rollout of distinctive new experiences as it continues to dominate global IP traffic. Contrary to what Hollywood and the CE industry might like, however, truly immersive video experiences won’t come quickly or easily in the form of entertainment. As the fate of 3D and 4K has shown, video quality alone is much more of a prize to vendors than to consumers—not to mention cost and battles over standards. A more likely outlet for immersive video by 2025 will be video augmentations of personal messaging (3rd party content isn’t king online). End-users will make less use of general-purpose social platforms in favor of various flavors of telepresence for the home, where what participants can do with each other will count for more than what they can merely see and hear.”

Marcus Cake, a network society content architect and strategist with WisdomNetworks.im, wrote, “Bandwidth is almost irrelevant. There is enough to achieve singularity or the ‘shift’ to the next stage of economic development. Bandwidth speeds up the status quo and exacerbates its flaws. Bandwidth may actually empower the status quo. The killer app between now and 2025 is to restructure society into peer-to-peer networks. The community (or crowd) has been building the foundation for distributed prosperity for decades—the first three elements data (Internet 30 years), information (World Wide Web 15 years), community (social networks 10 years)—the next three elements to be distributed are collaboration, knowledge, and wisdom. These will be achieved in less than five years with wisdom networks. In the Information Age, our technology allows point-to-point communication. Reach increased from near to far. Speed increased to instant. Our society developed tools based on point-to-point communication that included hierarchies, centralized knowledge and decision making. The Internet has sped up the status quo with negligible productivity benefit. These tools don’t scale and are failing to deliver global prosperity, productivity, or equality. If we restructure communities from point-to-point communication and its centralized form in the physical world to peer-to-peer collaboration and distributed contribution over the Internet, then it solves huge problems resulting from Information Age structures and delivers a new era of productivity, growth, and distributed prosperity. Wisdom networks are an elective singularity and reshape the status quo using the peer-to-peer structure of the Internet and achieving a rapid jump in productivity, potential output (18.2% to 55%), productive work time (28% to 50-75%), and usher in the new era of prosperity. This is the overdue third revolution in economic development. I predict that distributed prosperity will be enabled in less than two years with less than 30 networks and 900 people and it will transform the world within five years. Citizens will demand societies are organized like Facebook.”

Marjory Blumenthal, a science and technology policy analyst, responded, “The answer has to be ‘of course’—but what they are is too hard to predict. The evolution of the ‘Internet of things’ and the associated proliferation of sensors will feed new applications; how automated sensing and human decision-making will mesh is what is most uncertain.”

Linda Neuhauser, clinical professor at the School of Public Health at the University of California-Berkeley, responded, “These applications will focus partly on video. Video is a powerful medium that helps people manage their lives better. The ‘killer apps’ are likely to be those that ‘zone in’ on handling issues over which people want to have more control. Video is important to model how to make change. Other new tools will be those that are able to manage multiple variables of interest to people in managing their health. Those applications are already available to a very small percentage of people as I have found in my research. Once people have discovered that by harnessing multiple personal health factors, that it is empowering; those applications are eagerly adopted. Right now, wristbands and other practical ways to access this information are being used by this ‘informed 20% of the population.’ I think that will increase to half of the population by 2025. Wearable monitors will be extremely important by 2015.”

Seth Finkelstein, a programmer, consultant and EFF Pioneer of the Electronic Frontier Award winner, commented, “Historically, every new technological capability generates new applications which take advantage of that capability. However, if I knew exactly beforehand what those new killer apps would be, I’d be contacting a venture capital fund, not putting it in this survey.”

Ed Lyell, a college professor of business and economics and early Internet policy consultant dating back to ARPANET, commented, “Ubiquitous broadband tools will permit excellent helpful apps to make life easier and better for most people in the developed world. Properly designed they can also help conserve water and energy, optimize the use of natural resources and other beneficial applications. Just in time learning will continue to expand, permitting people of all ages to find the information they need when needed. It will permit the human mind to focus on creativity and critical thinking with known information being available as needed. Time in school will need to radically change since the talking head expert teacher is less and less valuable. However, the role of teacher-coach will be even more important yet require a different emotional and intellectual skill set than most educators now possess.”

Brad Berens, a senior research fellow at the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future commented. “Ultrahigh bandwidth will expand the canvases for education, commerce, and entertainment even more in the near future than they already have. One common statistic, for example, is that only 6% of commerce in 2013 is ecommerce. By 2025 all commerce will have a digital component, but it will by hybrid online/offline rather than just one or another. However, while bandwidth will be ever cheaper and ever plentiful, another technology to watch carefully for increased development and progress is battery technology. Google Glass, for example, will never be what it can be so long as it is tethered both to a two-hour battery life and also dependent on an anchoring smartphone.”

Marina Gorbis, executive director at the Institute for the Future, a nonprofit research organization, commented, “We will make significant advances in delivering context-aware applications of all kinds, i.e. providing information and resources that are relevant to the needs and context of the situation. These applications will automatically read the environment (location, mood, social and physical settings, intentions, etc.) and provide highly customized information that is relevant to a particular context.”

Geoff Livingston, author and president of Tenacity5 Media commented, “This is inevitable. Whether it is Elon Musk’s tube project or some other unforeseen breakthrough, we will see something that changes everything, just like the iPhone did six years ago, just like blogs did 13 years ago, etc., etc.”

Hal Varian, chief economist for Google, commented, “The big story here is continuous health monitoring. As baby boomers age, they will need health monitoring, and it will be much cheaper and more convenient to have that monitoring take place outside the hospital. You will be able to purchase health monitoring systems just like you purchase home security systems. Indeed, the home security system will include health monitoring as a matter of course. Robotic and remote surgery will become commonplace. Lasik is just the beginning. The Internet of Things is real. Internet enabled devices that interact with the physical world will be the norm. They will learn on their own, with some verbal instruction by their users. Tools for artistic creation such as animated videos and interactive games will become much more powerful and enable collaborative creation.”

Marc Prensky, a futurist, consultant, and speaker on technology and education wrote, “Of course there will be new, distinctive, and uniquely compelling technology applications: humans are infinitely creative. But the whole point is that they will be unexpected—-that’s the fun of living in our times. One innovation I very much hope will happen is the inclusion of cloud-connected text-to-voice scanners, and voice-to-text printers in all cell phones. If there happens there will be no more excuse for illiteracy (in the reading and writing sense)—-we will just have to distribute to all inexpensive phones with these features.”

Lyman Chapin, co-founder and principal of Interisle Consulting Group, LLC, commented, “To first order, the only meaningful answer is yes,’ because ‘no’ has so often (almost uniformly) been proven wrong by history. Mobile bandwidth will almost certainly be the most significant instantiation of gigabit connectivity; I can imagine an app that continuously pre-fetches the data of everyday experience before the experiences have occurred, so that our progress through time becomes mediated by those data at least as much as by things that actually happen (which we might not even notice).”

Joe Kochan, the chief operating officer for US Ignite, a company developing gigabit-ready digital experiences and applications responded, “The availability of very high bandwidth to end users will bring about a step-change in the Internet, not unlike the shift from dial-up to broadband did in the late 1990s. Widely-available gigabit broadband connections will usher in the Internet of two-way, persistent, high-quality video to replace today’s Internet of images, text, and recorded video. Your interactions with doctors, educators, merchants, and others will consist not of emailed forms or pre-recorded messages, but instead of instantaneous, life-like video interaction that requires no setup or configuration.”

JP Rangaswami, chief scientist for Salesforce.com, commented, “It will be classic William-Gibson-future’s-here stuff. The focus will shift from just thinking about live, very high-quality, video based apps to ones that create lots of data to be moved around, sometimes synchronously, sometimes asynchronously. Having a personal healthpod you strap yourself into daily will become normal; wearing clothes that are tailor-made for you every day, 3D printed at home, will also become normal, with the previous day’s clothes recycled efficiently; the school day will disaggregate into a number of learning sessions, some at home, some in the neighborhood, some in pairs, some in larger groups, with different kinds of facilitators.”

Ben Fuller, the dean of humanities, HIV/AIDS and sustainable development at the International University of Management in Windhoek, Namibia, commented, “Take the example of Twitter. When it first launched more than a few pundits ridiculed it because ‘can you say anything important in 140 characters or less?’ The lesson is that its difficult to predict what may or may not be popular. One concern of mine will be if there is enough computing power available to take full advantage of this bandwidth? It is one thing to push lots of bits down a pipe, another to make them meaningful and useful. Gigabit connectivity will mean the ability to both collect and transmit a lot of data in real time. The key question will be whether or not apps will be able to take that incoming data from a large array of sources and put it all together in meaningful ways so it can be transmitted back to users? Or, will it be just multiple streams of the Simpsons? Associated with computing power will be the technologies that underlie immersive media experiences. I am not a big expert on this field, however, if someone can get interactive 3D technology right, then a wide range of applications becomes possible. I can see major opportunities in many fields, like education and medicine.”

Katie Derthick, a PhD candidate in human-centered design and engineering at the University of Washington, responded, “Applications are the wrong scale and quality of technological innovation and solution. In 22 years, I hope we are no longer churning out application after application for problems that require solutions at the institutional, social, family, or individual (as in, choices about daily life) levels. Innovation will persist at the application scale for a while, but a backlash against technologizing everything, at the cost of time, health, relationships, social skills, spirituality, presence, attention, and cultural and class divides is coming. Finally, rather than apps, the innovation with technology will be at the device and environment level, meaning communication between devices (in ways that don’t require apps), in the places we live (first) and work (later).”

Andre Brock, a respondent who did not share additional identifying details, wrote, “I am unwilling to believe that there will be ‘significant’ increases in bandwidth before 2025. My concern lies with the unwillingness of telecommunications providers to upgrade their backbones to accommodate gigabit bandwidth and their continued litigation strategies to prohibit municipal Internet service providers willing to install their own fiber. Without significant federal intervention on the lines of the ‘universal service’ provision of the 1996 Telecom Act, we will continue to see incremental increases in bandwidth (wired and wireless), overcharges for ‘4G’ access, and increased telecommunications lobbying against net neutrality in order to profit from ‘tiered service’ throttled access.”

Raymond Plzak, former CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers, and current member of the Board of Directors of ICANN, wrote, “Just as the envisioned killer apps of the 1990s did not appear in the form that the conventional wisdom of the 1990’s anticipated, to a certain extent that is still true. For example no one really predicted that television advertising would, instead of being sub-planted by web-based advertising, surpass it and in fact become a major way of getting to the Web based merchandisers. One can expect continual adaption and evolution in the way people live and conduct business and leisure to be the norm and not a true killer app despite what the promoters of current popular social media sites might say to the contrary.”

David Clark, a senior research scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, noted, “Video will continue to be the major driver of bandwidth demand. Video is not new or distinctive. There will be new apps, but I doubt that they will be enabled by increases in bandwidth. The exception may be mobile apps, which are highly constrained by cellular capacity.”

Steve Carter, a vice president at eHarmony, wrote, “Predicting that a qualitative change in consumer technology is easy. Predicting what it will be is, almost by definition, impossible.”

Mark Johns, a professor of media studies at a liberal arts college in the US, said, “I don’t foresee this, but then, few people see such things coming until they are upon us. Historically, there is a period of augmentation and gradual adjustment after the introduction of a monumental technological innovation. I see the Internet itself as this monumental leap. The next generation or two will explore the possibilities it offers.”

Fred Hapgood, a self-employed science and technology writer, responded, “Bandwidth is not a limiting resource. We have enough bandwidth right now to take care of the big applications in prospect, such as smart homes. The barrier is all in software and standards and the price of implementation. I don’t think holograms are going to prove to be a very big deal. 3D never has.”

Jim McQuaid, former chair of the Benchmarking Methodologies Working Group of the Internet engineering task force, responded, “This is a ‘yes and no’ kind of situation. The idea of ‘killer apps’ is overrated. However, if we succeed in increasing bandwidth to the home sufficiently, television as we know it will end. Broadcast is likely to be overcome by internet-based television and movies. The broadcast infrastructure will be subject to big changes and movie theaters will follow, though I think they will survive for each ‘end’ of the film spectrum (blockbusters on one end and art films on the other).”

Bob Frankston, Internet pioneer and technology innovator, responded, “Using ‘bandwidth’ is the wrong framing of the question. That’s like asking if more railroad tracks will … oh never mind! This question is so retro that it’s stupid. It’s like asking about thicker dictionaries. This fixation on bandwidth misses the entire point of the Internet!”

Howard Rheingold, a pioneering Internet sociologist and self-employed writer, consultant, and educator, responded, “Who has ever been able to predict the most significant results of increased bandwidth? Many, starting with Taylor and Licklider in 1968, have been able to see that networked computers would give rise to new communication media. But who could have foreseen YouTube?”

Jay Cross, chief scientist at Internet Time Group, responded, “Moore’s Law will take care of massive change.”

Jeff Jarvis, director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, wrote, “I could not have predicted Google, Facebook, Blogger, or certainly Twitter. So there’s no way I can predict what ubiquitous gigabit bandwidth will bring. I only know I want it.”

Christopher Wilkinson, a retired European Union official, board member for EURid.eu, and Internet Society leader said, “The US is moving into an economic and demographic phase where inequalities result in the majority of the population not experiencing any ‘progress’ in terms of education, income or other welfare. I doubt that those folk will be interested in, or able to afford, leading edge new killer apps.”

Estee Beck, a doctoral candidate at Bowling Green State University wrote, “As companies continue to increase their market share in app development, there will be a greater need to develop and sustain networks that allow for significant bandwidth of new applications.”

John Anderson, director of broadcast journalism at Brooklyn College, wrote, “This question premises ‘significant increases in bandwidth’ between now and 2025. It bears remembering that, as a part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, telecommunications companies promised to invest hundreds of billions to build out that 21st century communications infrastructure we say we need. But we’re still waiting on that, and even today network development isn’t really about investing in infrastructure: it’s about maximizing profits on what there is, most notably through the notions of tiered access and data discrimination. Broadband isn’t even ubiquitous yet; how long do you think it will be until gigabit is?”

Mike Roberts, Internet pioneer and longtime leader with ICANN and the Internet Society, responded, “I’ve been involved professionally with this issue for years. It suffers from the usual problems of hype and misunderstanding. At least three major forces are at work in what is called gigabit networks. (1) The economic issue of fair and equitable access to the Internet; (2) The economic structure in which bandwidth and applications and content generally are provided with Internet technology; and (3) The opportunities for new applications development which are possible when gigabit style bandwidth is available to citizens. Generally, we are still stuck in the situation with Internet technology where success is being measured by comparison to the way things used to be done. Yes, there eventually will be killer apps dependent on gigabit-style bandwidth, but the path to them will be longer and more tortuous than advocates like to admit.”

D.K. Sachdev, a consultant and adjunct professor in satellite systems, wrote, “Diverse user groups are already demanding much higher bandwidth than our networks provide. South Korea provides much higher bandwidths at much lower costs than US networks do.”

Brad Templeton, a leader with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Singularity University, responded, “If we knew what those apps were, we would be billionaire investors. But again, the trend has always been that as more computing and bandwidth resources are made available, clever innovators have always come up with something new to use them. Even though except at the start, forecasters did not know what these would be.”

Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, responded, “It’s certainly possible there will be ‘killer apps’ but it’s hard to see what they will be. Even super HD video does not require anything near one gigabyte.”

Bruce Bimber, a professor at the University of California-Santa Barbara, wrote, “The rate of innovations we have seen over the last two decades gives no sign of decreasing in the foreseeable future.”

Sam Punnett of Fad Research observed, “There will be new ‘killer apps’ that come into use. Some of them will be linked to a greater migration of technology into the living room that will be associated with entertainment and social networking applications. Others will be less readily apparent in that they will be associated to ‘back end’ applications tied to the analysis of big data though they will have a profound impact on offered services and personalization. Finally, there will be many applications developed that use data and functionality from the Internet of Things, objects that will become accessible components of networks.”

Robert Bell of IntelligentCommunity.org responded, “I have absolutely no idea what they will be. I was once consulted on the creation of a conference on gigabit applications and advised the organizers that no one would be able to address the topic because there are no gigabit applications. They didn’t believe me until they checked and found out I was right. But leaps in bandwidth have triggered explosions of online creativity each time they have happened, and there is no reason to think it will not happen again.”

Charlie Firestone, executive director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, responded, “New learning devices and techniques.”

David Sarokin, president and researcher at xooxleanswers.com, wrote, “I don’t have a clue what they will be, but how could there not be new killer apps?”

Tony Siesfeld, director of the Monitor Institute wrote, “How can there not be?”

John Mitchell, a self-employed lawyer who focuses on antitrust, copyright, trade associations, and free speech, wrote, “The term ‘killer app’ is used more as a marketing moniker or a subjective adjective than any objectively measurable term. Moreover, ‘killer app’ has no inherent longevity. A flash in the pan may be called a ‘killer app’ for some brief period before it is supplanted, surpassed or simply forgotten. We can expect to see numerous non-spectacular transitory ‘killer apps’ of no particular significance. Still, as we merely look back at the highlights of the last 12 years, it is safe to assume that similar new, distinctive, and compelling technology applications will be developed over the next 12 years.”

Niels Ole Finnemann, a professor and director of Netlab DigHumLab in Denmark, wrote, “The distinction is difficult. What are the criteria for a killer app? If the question refers to whether new applications will be hyped, this will take place regularly. If it refers to whether new apps will spread globally to a majority of Internet users it is not likely. The main developmental trend will be diversification. We will see many new apps, which will popular in their area. An area of exception from this is entertainment, where some global players may create global events supported by new apps, as for instance related to the Olympics. Focus will increasingly be on the supportive role rather then the IT centric focus of today.”

Jonathan Sterne, a professor in the department of art history and communication studies at McGill University, responded, “This is an infrastructure question. Will new lines be put down that can accommodate massive increases in bandwidth for average users? The year 2025 is only 11 years away—that’s not enough time for a complete overhaul of the telecommunications infrastructure.”

Peter McCann, a senior staff engineer in the telecommunications industry, responded, “The bandwidth-intensive apps that exist today (media streaming, telepresence, etc.) will continue to be the primary consumers of Internet resources in 2025, although they will be packaged in easier to use formats and new rights management frameworks will evolve.”

Liam Pomfret, a PhD student in online consumer privacy at the University of Queensland, Australia, responded, “While I think it’s likely that we’ll continue to see great strides being made in mobile and wearable computing, I don’t feel these will be anything but incremental advances of the technology already being presented with Google Glass.”

Natascha Karlova, a PhD candidate at the University of Washington Information School, wrote “Significant increases in bandwidth? US consumers pay more money for slower Internet than most industrialized nations. Besides, in 2025, bandwidth doesn’t matter—data service does. It’s all about mobile.”

Stephen Abram, a self-employed consultant with Lighthouse Consulting Inc. and CEO of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries, wrote, “We haven’t begun to see the big stuff yet. So far we are seeing traditional face-to-face and 20th century stuff being turned into apps. The real change will come with convergence of the total experience as smart card, phones, and appliances as well as smart wall and augmented reality really start to invent new modes on the backs of old ones. Just one small example—fiction and non-fiction e-books are merely the Gutenberg product wrapped in a digital wrapper. Where they’ll be when they truly try to entertain or support pedagogy beggars the imagination. The year 2025 will be a much different place and ‘apps’ actually will have gone by the wayside as the need to bind them disappears into the social-cultural and workplace eco-system.”

Jerome McDonough, an associate professor at the University of Illinois, responded, “A ‘killer app’ has traditionally been considered an application which was sufficiently compelling to drive the uptake of a new device in both the business and the personal markets. Killer apps are very hard to develop in the face of a massive installed base of devices, which is what we have now with personal computers and mobiles. And to date, most of those devices do not fully exploit even their existing bandwidth capacity. If there are killer apps to be found they will probably involve networking devices which are not currently employing network capabilities at all (e.g., cars and appliances), but significant advances necessary to develop a ‘must have’ application in those domains also confronts the installed base problem as well as the need for standardization of communication protocols. I don’t see that happening in a 12-year time frame. And I’m not sure any of those will really require significant bandwidth increases.”

Leah Lievrouw, a professor of information studies at the University of California-Los Angeles, responded, “I tend to agree with economists like Tyler Cowen and Robert Gordon that much of the innovativeness in the last couple of decades has been incremental, refining and building and elaborating on more fundamental infrastructural changes that are now decades old, like TCP/IP and other key features of Internet architecture, optical and satellite data transmission, petrochemicals and transportation, and so on. Over the last couple of decades, especially with the commercialization of publicly-funded infrastructure projects like the Internet and the ‘mean world’ perceptions of the post-9/11 age, the pressures to lock down, ‘stabilize,’ and render disruptive digital technologies ‘safe’ and predictable have dominated political discourse and popular culture, which has in many respects limited the emergence of truly disruptive innovations that would destabilize existing markets, products, and infrastructures. So we might well increase digital bandwidth, but use it to deliver and meter familiar, trusted (and ‘safe’) products and services, or variations on them: media content, college lectures, voice telephony, security services, public utilities, financial information and services, health care advice, and so on.”

Mike Osswald, vice president for experience innovation at Hanson Inc. observed, “Only to the extent that video quality will become even more enhanced at 4K and 8K for new content, and the ‘Internet of things’ devices will not disrupt data flows.”

Thomas Haigh, an information technology historian and associate professor of information studies at the University of Wisconsin, responded, “Twelve years is not that long, and killer applications do not arrive very often. Recent popular applications like social networking and Twitter were not particularly related to advances in network bandwidth, though they did benefit from network ubiquity and personal devices. Streaming video has matured with higher bandwidth, and will continue to benefit from it, but that’s hardly unique and compelling.”

Michael Maranda wrote, “I wish. I expect change to be incremental. Part of it is a failure of imagination, and a desire for entertainment and escape. More video sharing and more gaming? These are not impressive. We’re not building the infrastructure in a creatively open way nor are we cultivating the technical skills to manipulate an open infrastructure. The absence of these keeps technological change beholden to old models of revenue generation and locked down networks.”

John Wilbanks, chief commons officer for Sage Bionetworks, responded, “We don’t know. The whole point of generative systems is that they create unanticipated consequences and unanticipated applications. The killer apps are pretty much always in the ‘unknown unknowns’ quadrant.”

Glenn Edens, a director of research in networking, security, and distributed systems within the Computer Science Laboratory at PARC, a Xerox Company, responded, “The new and distinctive applications will occur with or without increased bandwidth. Our current progress in increased bandwidth is pretty miserable, my home bandwidth has ben stuck at 24 megabits (on a good day) for many years now. Mobile bandwidth is getting better but usage increases are still outpacing gains. Application developers find new and interesting things to do all the time—a lot new will occur even if bandwidth gains stall.”

Robert E. McGrath, an Internet pioneer and software engineer who participated in developing the World Wide Web and advanced interfaces, commented, “First, there will not be ‘significant increases in bandwidth’ in the United States, increases yes, but not significant. Second, I’ll take a chance here and say that there will be no ‘killer app,’ at least not of the magnitude of the Internet. Lots of cool stuff will roll out, some people will get rich, but nothing really ground breaking. I note that there haven’t been any ‘killer apps’ for quite a while. All the recent candidates (social media) are minor permutations of Internet messaging. Third, it would take massive investment in basic research now to get anything game changing by 2025. Investment is going down, which makes me say there will be no great results, since we aren’t doing the work to get them.”

Dave Rustin, a digital serial entrepreneur and former digital global corporate executive, responded, “Yes, it will evolve by whom has the better collaborative, experiential education systems. Fiber optics is the enabler. The largest bankruptcy in telecommunications history is just a slight example of how picking up oceanic fiber optic capacity shifted economies, education, and learning. Having oceanic fiber strands bought for pennies on the dollar enabled off-shoring to occur. Off-shoring had less to do with trade agreements or policies as it had to do with cheap, available optical bandwidth. Only a fool or someone psychic can say what 2025 is or ‘killer applications’ will be—they have yet to be created. They will be created by better education systems, public/private collaborations in research and development with universities and corporations and university start-ups. Advancements by way of technology applied in capital formation are desperately needed whereby the access to capital is not through the old angel VC and PE paradigms of today.”

Nigel Cameron, president of Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies, based in Washington, DC, commented, “Killer apps will be huge but by definition we can’t ID them now. The killer apps of the past decade, like Facebook, will be history. Twitter is the nearest we have to evergreen.”

Joel Halpern, a distinguished engineer at Ericsson, responded, “Changes in capability (such as bandwidth, computation, storage, etc.) by several orders of magnitude are inevitable over the stated time frame. Such changes will produce completely new and exciting applications. To pretend we know what those applications will be is a mistake. Each time such things have emerged, they have largely been in spaces that were not anticipated. It is also worth remembering that many of the most pervasive effects will likely be in ways that are not directly visible, but make a dramatic difference indirectly.”

Bob Briscoe, chief researcher in networking and infrastructure for British Telecom, wrote, “Telepresence will be available in business environments, although by 2025 unlikely to be realistic and natural, although sufficiently realistic to be usable. It will also be becoming available in personal and residential settings. It may become possible for an individual to project themselves into more than one presence at once, given young people have learned to cope with partial attention on multiple threads of interaction. As a society, we may have started to move towards acting more as a collective intelligence rather than individual intelligences only interacting locally. However, it’s unclear whether or how this might be harnessed. Yes, there will be more immersive media available, but that’s unlikely to have any significant effect beyond mere entertainment.”

Alex Halavais, an associate professor of social and behavioral sciences at Arizona State University, predicted, “Yahoo aside, we’ll see increased use of telepresence in work-spaces and in family life. I suspect this will include a lot of ‘always on’ very high resolution video. I imagine a lot of offices doing something akin to what Thomas Keller does for his restaurants in New York and Napa, and installing video walls in the hall. Much of this may be in game space. It is in some ways easy to see what a highly connected US would look like, since there are countries like Finland and Korea that have had far higher bandwidth for some time, as well as relative newcomers with cheap gigabit service.”

Dave Burstein, editor of Fast Net News, responded, “The evidence shows that almost no one has predicted Internet trends like this 10 years out. However, one ‘app’ that already exists but is not pervasive is likely to become crucial to most people. I do most of my work on Google Drive in the ‘cloud.’ I’m starting to put my music there as well. I’m writing this 2,000 miles away from home and it’s as smooth as though I’m on my own machine. Nearly all of us will carry Internet connected ‘smartphones’ and it will be so convenient to access our stuff that we’ll move much of our work and life to the ‘cloud’ as we have better connections.”

Sonigitu Asibong Ekpe, a consultant with the AgeCare Foundation, a nonprofit organization, wrote, “The killer app is this: high-performance knowledge exchange. Gigabit networks can unleash our collective imagination and encourage all manner of ‘what if’ scenarios. The onset of advanced, communication-rich networks and the multilayered applications that run on them promise to break conventional boundaries and propel our world to a true Information Age. Big bandwidth gets us closer than we ever thought possible. It dramatically reduces the barriers to collaboration that distance erects. There will be new applications for digital strategies for market dominance. Tools that will harness the new forces that govern life and business in the digital age and in the gap created by the law of disruption, golden opportunities await those who move quickly.”

David Allen, an academic and advocate engaged with the development of global Internet governance, responded, “When we look at media, the trajectory of change taken over the long view shows that the direction is toward greater and greater reality. That is, successive invention adds to the sense of ‘being there.’ That seems likely to continue. In time, we likely will have immersive holographic experience, both of entertainment and of our communications with those separated from us.”

Lee McKnight, a professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies, wrote, “Wireless grids edgeware—a new class of software applications for cloud to edge services including wiglets (open and non-proprietary) and gridlets will be pervasive as the cloud operating model supercedes the still semantic Web 2.0 business focus of 2013. (Note: I am inventor of wireless grids edgeware so my views may reflect that). Gigabit connectivity will permit a wide array of ‘over the virtual top’ applications which will require sophisticated virtual machines and software-defined networks for delivery, use, and creation. Meaning, the gigabit home user may stand up their own physical network for custom games-playing, seeking the ever-elusive technical edge in immersive virtual environments. Likewise immersive MOOC-like learning will be more popular and powerful with greater bandwidth available. 80% of business services will be capable of being delivered as a secure gigabit service, whether the worker is home, in the coffee shop, or, gasp, in an office. For home entertainment, ever- more realistic immersive environments will permit a wide array of telepresent sports and entertainment options; think IMAX at home. Given the still-pervasive role of mobile in 2025, the key issue will be orchestrating enriching and engrossing applications and content that can be accessed and used across a wide array of devices and resources.”

David Hughes, a retired US Army Colonel who, in 1972, pioneered individual to/from digital telecommunications, wrote, “Health and physical welfare monitoring of each and all living Americans, perhaps 350 million, will require vast amounts of bandwidth, wired and wireless, extending into all homes and places of work. At eighty-five, I am already grateful for the Centronics heart-monitoring device connected to my doctors, via wireless, and within the house to my defibrillator, but via the less than reliable telephone lines available to widowed me, living alone.”

Ian O’Byrne, an assistant professor at the University of New Haven, wrote, “The apps that we currently have and use will continue to expand and multiply. The typical bandwidth hogs such as video, YouTube, and Netflix will continue to metastasize as we all expect 4K in our binge-watching. I also believe that new, unforeseen-as-of-yet technologies will arise that require greater personal connectivity and multimedia experiences.”

Doc Searls, director of Project VRM at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, responded, “For apps to be truly killer we will need symmetrical high-speed (gigabit+) connectivity, so the speed of the network, in both directions, approaches or equals that of our machines and our home networks. I believe that will happen. The examples we already see in Chattanooga and Kansas City will go viral in other cities, despite political opposition by the incumbent carriers, which seem hell-bent on keeping old TV consumption and business models alive for as long as possible. Once symmetrical gigabit connectivity happens, offsite storage and computation in clouds, for everybody, will become a norm. So will personal control over how that is done. Once everybody can keep and manipulate their own data in their own clouds, the Internet of Things will be included as well.”

Miguel Alcaine, an International Telecommunication Union area representative for Central America, responded, “The next bandwidth hungry killer apps will be related to virtual reality and augmented reality, where other senses like taste, smell and touch can me more integrated with our experience with the digital world. I can easily foresee virtual reality games and training applications, using virtual reality rooms and environments, that supersedes our wildest dreams. Bandwidth needs are proportional to our senses capabilities.”

Stuart Umpleby, a professor at George Washington University, wrote, “Vision and photos require many bits. Imagine video monitoring that takes photos of a crowd, perhaps at an airport or a train station. Isolate faces and search each one for a match to a suspected terrorist. I think this is a small step beyond where we are now. The instability of the electric power grid seems to be a matter of concern. Perhaps more monitoring and sharing and algorithms that operate on the data would be helpful. I assume the obstacle here is more political than technical. Weather forecasting seems to have made significant progress in recent years. I assume this is due to satellite photos and computer simulations. Computer simulations are also used to forecast sea level rise. I have not yet seen any plans for relocating populations away from coastal areas. This kind of thinking is just beginning. Simulations will be helpful. There are efforts to collect and analyze data on physical health. Data on mental health would probably also benefit. As data is collected and made accessible, algorithms to extract useful information will be developed. As algorithms are developed, more data to feed into the algorithms will be collected. The cost of genetic testing has declined dramatically. Medicine and genetic engineering of plants and animals will benefit. Ethical issues are being debated and discussion will continue.”

Tim Bray, an active participant in the IETF and technology industry veteran, wrote, “Every decade, the Internet generates one or two surprising new application flavors, and I see no reason to expect this to change. I have particular hope for advances in locative augmented-reality applications, for art, entertainment, tourism, and other surprising things.”

Jari Arkko, Internet expert for Ericsson and chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force, wrote, “Of course there will be. But at the same time, it is difficult to predict what these applications are.”

Mike Liebhold, senior researcher and distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future, wrote, “Cloud-served supercomputing will enable any app or service to be fundamentally more powerful by the application of analytics, sensemaking, and modeling.”

Garland McCoy, president and founder of the Technology Education Institute, responded, “Only the big strokes here (if I told you of my killer apps I would have to kill you—just kidding). Obviously the Internet of things, IPv6, etc., have not yet kicked in but when they do, look out. There will be machine-to-machine communications, radio frequency identification—all is possible. And if you can back haul with fiber quickly you free up spectrum, so there will be micro transponders everywhere.”

Stowe Boyd, lead researcher for GigaOM Research, predicted, “Computer-mediated sex will be a killer app. Teledildonics and immersive reality will require a great deal of bandwidth to get right. This will involve both peer-to-peer sex—connecting to other people through these devices—and artificial sex, where the AI tool create fictitious partners, or partnerless sex. Young people in 2025 will generally have sex this way with new partners, first, because it’s not really a sexual contact, but a sort of masturbation. High-fidelity meeting tools will decrease the need for business travel. These will present participants with artificially constructed online places to meet, and create high-fidelity renderings of people’s real-time actions based on cameras and other devices. For example, I could be writing on a ‘whiteboard’ with others, as well as seeing them standing next to me. In fact, I would be in my office in Beacon NY, wearing an Oculus-ish headset and writing on my wall, while meeting with people from London and San Francisco. The culmination of that meeting trend will be the true online conference, where I might be sitting in my office, again, but sensing that I am in a large conference hall with hundreds of others, hearing a lecture, and being able to chat with the people on either side of me. I sneeze, and five people say ‘Gesundheit.’ Basically, it will be the Metaverse from Snowcrash.”

Michael Kende, an economist for a major Internet-oriented nonprofit organization, wrote, “Twelve years is a long time—longer than YouTube and Facebook have been around, longer than Netflix has been online, and not much less than the lifespan of Google. Furthermore, with globalization and the spread of the Internet, the innovators of the new killer apps will not necessarily come from Harvard or Stanford, but from many other spots in the world. So there is no doubt that there will be a new killer app or two. What they are is harder to guess, of course, but they will involve video, and be real-time and interactive.”

Bob Harootyan, manager of research for a national nonprofit organization helping unemployed, low-income, older Americans, responded, “In my previous work analyzing technologies related to aging, it was clear that the technological imperative will continue wherever advances promise to do one or more of the following: provide more efficient or effective outcomes, increase demand for a product or service, create new applications or uses, solve previously unsolvable problems, improve everyday life at a reasonable cost, promote well-being, respond to consumer needs or desires, provide entertainment, make a person or enterprise more competitive, et cetera. For the private sector, profit will be a driving force. For the nonprofit and government sectors, improved service and general well-being are the driving forces. Regarding personal connectivity and immersive media, I would seek ‘killer apps’ that improve my ability to handle daily tasks, monitor finances, work efficiently, and enjoy many forms of entertainment. Most importantly for ‘connectivity’ will be to lessen the ‘social’ interaction with others relatively unknown and reduce the inconsequential or irrelevant information that is shared. In contrast, compelling connectivity will be anything that increases my interaction with family and close friends, thereby enriching my daily life and providing shared experiences that are truly meaningful.”

David Solomonoff, president of the New York Chapter of the Internet Society, wrote, “Yes—but there is still a very uneven distribution of bandwidth—even in prosperous, technically advanced countries. We may see a lot more innovation in the developing world in the near future because they adapt to wireless mesh networks and leapfrog past countries that are hamstrung by incumbent service providers.”

Jamais Cascio, a writer and futurist specializing in possible futures scenario outcomes commented, “The development of new killer apps for the gigabit age is, if not predetermined, highly likely simply as a consequence of greater numbers of people experimenting with the technology. The big potential roadblock—and the main reason I could just as easily have answered ‘no’—is the disturbingly high likelihood that intellectual property controls and the demise of network neutrality will undermine the end-to-end agnosticism of the Internet. If the gigabit future is essentially the modern wireless/cellular network writ large, then incremental innovation may even be difficult, let alone radical innovation.”

Karl Fogel, a partner with Open Tech Strategies and president of QuestionCopyright.org, commented, “Ifwe have significantly increased bandwidth, I would expect apps that use it in qualitatively new ways. It is not clear that the United States is going to get that kind of bandwidth increase, however.”

Peng Hwa Ang, director of the Singapore Internet Research Center at Nanyang Technological University, wrote, “Video and location-based data could use the new technologies. Imagine moving anywhere (dark alley, battle field) and being able to capture everything around. To be able to stream and record the data would be invaluable.”

Fernando Botelho, a social entrepreneur working to enhance the lives of people with disabilities wrote, “This is a distinct possibility, yet its realization will depend on the extent to which network neutrality is maximized. Speed can enable qualitative changes in the way the network is used, but real innovation requires widespread experimentation and the type of decentralized and thriving ecosystem that only factors such as network neutrality and truly open standards can enable.”

Olivier Crepin-Leblond, managing director of Global Information Highway Ltd. in London, UK, predicted, “Internet protocol version six will allow for point to point, always-on access to each other’s data stream—a bit like video mobile telephony, but always on and accessible to groups. The users will be able to turn on/off what services they’d like always on, but video will be the most widely used. How often have you gone zip-lining and wanted to show all your friends in real-time around the world what you are up to? The ‘status’ on social networking sites or a tweet you send will be replaced by real time updating without needing to go through an intermediate site. That will cause a real bandwidth crunch at mobile data level.”

David P. Collier-Brown, a system programmer and author, wrote “Avatars to go to meetings for me in Texas, rather than me flying down. Bus tours of Istanbul on Saturday afternoon, from the comfort of my living room. Playing a game of football with my cousin in Ulan Bator, from the gym downtown.”

Henning Schulzrinne, a technology developer and professor at Columbia University observed, “Video, as immersive gaming and 4K HDTV entertainment, seem the most likely mass-market applications. However, the notion that gigabit networks are primarily useful for applications that need sustained bandwidth of tens or hundreds of megabit/seconds is a bit limited: Offices routinely connect their desktop PCs by gigabit Ethernet, with very low average utilization, but to reduce latency on bursty tasks, such as file writing or reading. Thus, gigabit bandwidth makes it possible to treat the cloud like an office LAN.”

Oscar Gandy, an emeritus professor at the Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania, wrote, “While it seems likely/necessary for increased bandwidth for transmission, problems of storage will arise, so we should expect more innovation in the area of information processing that reduces the need for bandwidth for many routine operations.”

Paul M.A. Baker, associate director of the Center for 21st Century Universities at the Georgia Institute of Technology, predicted, “I do think there will be steady, incremental change, and it will be more related to interface design and enhanced AI and information processing applications rather than to bandwidth increase, per se.”

Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz, founders of the online community Awakening Technology, based in Portland, Oregon, commented, “Such ‘killer apps in the gigabit age’ are unpredictable events that emerge from the complex adaptive system we call society and are thus difficult to forecast. Chances are that what emerges will not be what we can think of at this point. On the consumer side, ‘bandwidth to burn’ is usually thought to be most likely used for entertainment and sports (high definition video, immersive realities, gaming of all sorts). Virtual museums with 3D walk-throughs and augmented reality docents are another interesting consumer app, but that probably wouldn’t qualify as a ‘killer app.’ On the side of corporate, government, science and technology, drug discovery, and other complex institutions, things like big data analysis, visualization, real-time dashboards, environmental monitoring and control (such as smart buildings, etc.), and so on are certainly important apps in the gigabit age. These applications in turn will only be in the common interest if enough people rise up nonviolently and demand public oversight and universal, affordable Internet access. For example, see the new Community Informatics Declaration: An Internet for the Common Good—Engagement, Empowerment, and Justice for All. The Internet is not monolithic. It is composed of many interconnected networks accessed through millions of providers. The incentives and constraints for large corporate providers make it much more likely that ‘killer apps in the gigabit age’ will be for mass consumption (entertainment, sports, gambling, gaming, pornography). Do it yourself networks are springing up to provide a locally owned and controlled alternative in communities. Internet2 provides a very different model of ‘killer apps in the gigabit age.’ Internet2 is like the Internet before it was commercialized, organized for voluntary collaboration and discovery.”

Peter S. Vogel, Internet law expert at Gardere Wynne Sewell, LLP, commented, “I expect that with greater availability of Internet bandwidth, but the debate about net neutrality will need to be resolved so that larger consumers pay their fair share. However since net neutrality is a political issue and not solely a technology issue, it is possible that the debate may not resolve easily, nor to the benefit of consumers, which would make the new killer apps very expensive.”

Rebecca Lieb, an industry analyst for the Altimeter Group and author, responded, “One can only hope and pray for significantly increased bandwidth in the United States. It’s vitally needed and critical to the country’s economy. Assuming this does happen, two clear current trends: cloud computing and mobility, will accelerate even faster than they are now. Part of this assumption is that better, longer-lasting power supplies and batteries will create an even greater expectation of always-on, networked devices. Mobility will expand to include a real Internet of Things: household, office, and personal devices.”

Clark Quinn, director of Quinnovation, wrote, “Historically, new applications capitalizing on new capabilities has always been the case, and there is no reason to expect that the situation will change. Our imaginations continually conceptualize new opportunities, and when we couple the creative with the scientific, we can develop and deliver new capabilities. One of the areas I think is still to emerge is that of adaptive ubiquitous experiences, alternate reality games that capitalize on serendipity to foster emergent engagement. Systems will be much more aware of our context and commitments, and use this to surprise and challenge us via ‘hard fun’ in experiences that not just entertain us but transform us in important ways.”

Ian Peter, pioneer Internet activist and Internet rights advocate, wrote, “Media applications like television will have completely disappeared in favour of online equivalents. Similarly more interactive video conferencing and video calling styles of applications will be used far more often. I suspect with mobile applications we will be able to look a few kilometers away to see how long it will be before the bus we are waiting for arrives, we will be able to check where our car is if other members of the family have it, where our children and pets are, how grandmother is in her nursing home, queues and traffic jams, items on supermarket shelves and stock levels in on line shops etc.”

Dmitry Strakovsky wrote, “Direct neural connection to the net and all of the crazy stimulation (including designer drugs) will probably be on the menu. We are definitely moving into an on-demand printing world. More bandwidth will equal more resolution for the objects we print.”

Bill Woodcock, executive director for the Packet Clearing House, responded, “Of course there will be new killer apps, and of course they’ll be very difficult to predict, other than by accident. What email user in 1995 could have predicted that by 2006, a limitation of 140 characters would have been the path to riches? Seems idiotic. By the same token, I think it’s useless to try to predict the killer apps of 2025. There are present trends that will continue: more and more of the bandwidth paid for by each user will be consumed by agents on their behalf, or parasitically consumed by advertisers who seek a subsidized ride to the user’s eyeballs. I think that the high-end of communication, as used by adults at work, will continue to become more immersive, using more sophisticated, higher-resolution imaging and image-reproduction to convey ever more subtle nuances of human facial expression and tone of voice. I think that may be coupled with agent technology to provide ‘coaching’ to users party to a conversation, side-channels by which users’ agents are providing additional communication, beyond what the two users can convey by conversation; backing documents, machine-readable contracts, automatic bidding for goods and services mentioned in the conversation, and so forth, as well as ‘behind the scenes’ analysis of the other conversant’s position, inflection, putative motivations, etc.”

Gary Kreps, director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University, wrote, “New applications will be more engaging and dramatic, incorporating vivid entertainment media for communicating with users. These applications will include vivid visuals, sound, and movement that capture user attention and promote attention and learning. This will be particularly valuable for entertainment, education, communication, and health promotion. These applications will also enhance interpersonal and group communication by making interactions more vivid with rich multi-channel message systems.”

Lillie Coney, a legislative director specializing in technology policy for a member of the US House of Representatives, commented, “There are two challenges: universal access to high-speed broadband and applications that are easier to access and use. Internet access should be treated like a utility. Municipalities should construct them and the Federal government should cover areas outside of large metropolitan areas. Moving across the country or world while using or accessing communication media should be seamless. Bandwidth and infrastructure are the challenge to high-speed digital communication systems. The largest potential high-speed bandwidth carrier already in place is the electric utility grid. Solving the problem of using it to send communication is not simple, but if solved would open up many avenues for broadband high-speed access for rural and some urban areas. It would also add value to electric utility infrastructure upgrades that are underway. This would create a new wave of innovation and a new class of technologies. The digital information age runs on power so another important step that must be overcome is energy retention. Storing power for indefinite periods would reduce dependence on a range of energy sources and allow greater reliance on renewable sources. A lot of power is lost because it cannot be stored so the architecture is to generate much more than is needed. Battery technology is much further behind than the innovation of new devices. Solve the battery problem and you can solve access, reliability and stability issues with digital technology. One early indication of how digital technology is changing people or society is how well can young people engage with others in person. How comfortable are they in speaking publicly? How well can they articulate their feels or beliefs to others event those they know very well?”

Kevin Carson, a senior fellow at the Center for a Stateless Society and contributor to the P2P Foundation blog, wrote, “I expect a shift to increased use of collaborative platforms and the organization of networked, horizontal, and local counter-economies built on a platform-module architecture.”

Fredric Litto, a professor emeritus at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, responded, “Yes, but I cannot identify them at this time, for, if I could, I would be actively involved in setting up one or more startups to make them come about. But as long as there is money to be made in innovating products and services, society as a whole will be benefitted. Optimism in this sector is easily justified.”

Pamela Wright, the chief innovation officer for the US National Archives, wrote, “Products like Google Glass will improve to the point where people will consider these kinds of wearable tools as necessary as wearing items such as shoes. It will be something of a social taboo to not be connected. Having to hold up something as clunky as a smart phone to take a picture will be unimaginable for the next generation.

John Wooten, the CEO and founder of ConsultED, wrote, “Human interconnectivity will become normalized by common, focal use of video conferencing as an ‘always on,’ readily accessible, and cheaper way to communicate; the component of video will be complimented by add-on layers of data sharing to augment video as the primary vehicle for connectivity (text, image, and metadata sharing).”

John Klensin, a self-employed consultant focusing on Internet policy and technology and a longtime IETF leader, commented, “Certainly not unless there actually are significant increases in bandwidth. That does not seem likely at this stage if carriers who are traditionally averse to making large capital investments against uncertain returns are expected to make the investment and continue as near-monopolies or oligarchies in practice.”

Barry Chudakov, founder and principal of Sertain Research, responded, “The most distinctive and uniquely compelling technology applications we will encounter between now and 2025 will take us into environments and surround us with information, navigation, and search capabilities. These apps will create ‘livingness’ of information. We will enter any destination like diving into water. This new submersion, due to enhanced glasses or some evolved cognitive cum visual tool, will affect both the destination and those experiencing it. We will no longer go anywhere alone, as we will be connected to everyone and everything around us. We will not think of this as a media experience, but as reality immersion while we are walking down 5th Avenue in New York or spending an afternoon at the Palazzo Vecchio. We will no longer think of a map as a representation of the territory; the map will be become part of the territory, while at a gut level we will both be in the experience and we will be in the territory itself with constant readings of our responses to surroundings and live reporter/correspondents (us or other connected souls) providing a narrative of what is happening on the ground. In a flash, static documentation moves from two-dimensional estimate to detailed interactivity and monitoring; we move from passive observer to connected actor and commentator.”

Peter Janca, the managed services development lead at MCNC, the nonprofit regional network operator serving North Carolina, wrote, “I believe that increased bandwidth will enable true ‘you-are-there’ feelings in human-to-human interactions. Maybe a holographic representation of the other parties sitting in the room with me. This becomes a ‘killer app’ for human interaction, but bad news for the travel and transportation industry. One application of the above will be in education: We use video conferencing today, but there are still impediments to it being an equivalent to the physical in-class experience. Higher bandwidth, coupled with higher horsepower computing, will make today’s virtual classroom work as if it were a real classroom.”

Clifford Lynch, executive director for the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) and adjunct professor at the School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley, wrote, “This is a complex question. Where very high bandwidth environments exist (for example, the upper end of the research and higher education sectors) we are seeing a lot of innovation in science and scholarship that is dependent on very fast networks, advanced high performance computing, and data intensive practices. Our understanding of what gigabit connectivity can bring to consumers or small businesses (entertainment, games, education, commerce, social media) is much more limited. I worry greatly that most of these applications could be stillborn because affordable high performance network connectivity to the general public in the United States is not very good and doesn’t seem to be getting much better quickly (witness the steady drop in the US rankings in global surveys of national Internet connectivity), due to a whole series of public policy and economic choices that have been made. The good news is that we are seeing some ‘labs’ established as Google, for example, wires a few cities for very high bandwidth. There are other areas to watch carefully as well: mobile devices are still very bandwidth constrained, and the combination of very high bandwidth and mobile may yield some interesting new apps. Also many of the most interesting bandwidth dependent apps seem to involve new sensors and I/O devices, and as we see new developments there (Kinect, etc) these could point towards new apps. Think about the implications of a new generation of sensors that can be controlled by thinking here. Also some of these can use local WiFi type technology to get fairly high bandwidth and then compress or abstract data streams that travel across the wide-area network, circumventing some of the bandwidth constraints.”

Kelly Baltzell, CEO for Beyond Indigo, responded, “The future is only limited by our own selves. What we dream we can create. By removing limitations with statements of ‘not possible,’ the doors to creation are blown wide open. What will excite people will be technology that creates fun, enhances life, and creates fast communication. Those are the areas that have proven true the last twenty years. The Internet went ‘public’ in 1995 and the most popular areas were chat rooms. People are hungry to connect and share. So much so Facebook is a success. In the future it would be fun to be able to have a full hologram of a person versus just Facetime or Skype. For gaming people might be able to be immerse within the game—think The Matrix.”

Jim Jansen, associate professor at Penn State, responded, “Autonymous systems will increasingly be the normal in systems that we ‘think’ we have control over.”

Breanne Thomlison, founder and president of BTx2 Communications, a marketing and strategies firm, wrote, “Gigabit killer apps will be related to health and wellness and education. Tools will monitor us from birth and predict sickness and heal us faster; Genetics will be patented and evolve to have cures to current and new disease that will arise. I think all of this will happen rapidly. People will be able to connect with others who share similar DNA and experience a personal connection to focus on prevention versus treatment. When it comes to education, there will be an app for every child’s learning ability or disability. There will be less focus on ‘pills’ versus creating apps that support and assist in learning at every level. Children will be learning and tracking 24/7, while sharing their experience with selected-in peer and networks. Everyone will be the media and a newsmaker. Journalism will be more personal and targeted.”

S. Rodriguez, chief operating officer for MC&S IB and digital consultant, replied, “Any increase in the number of interesting applications involves an increase in the number of users, which in turn increases the amount of data that needs to move through the network, the size of the firing bandwidth required to handle band. Applications that will be able to increase that traffic data are difficult to say a priori. Based on our experience so far, it is likely that all those related communication and exchange of data (images, videos) between different users and groups of users increase, as well as those that allow communication and exchange of data with different Internet-connected devices, with smart homes and hygienic installation with different users demand such as remote health care, surveillance, and control of dependents; as well as streaming music, movies, television series, and programs in high definition.

Frank Feather, a business futurist, CEO, and trend tracker based in Ontario, Canada, observed, “Bandwidth will become unlimited and basically free to operate. People and organizations will increasingly operate in virtual space, for work, e-commerce, socializing, and entertainment, mostly using mobile devices and wireless systems.”

Nick Wreden, a professor of social business at University Technology Malaysia, based in Kuala Lumpur, responded, “Health. Not only will there be 24/7 monitoring of body functions, but surgeons will be able to do operations only dreamed about today. The doctors won’t even have to be in the operating room!”

Sean Mead, the senior director of strategy and analytics for Interbrand, commented, “Immersive apps including olfactory and tactile sensations will divert large amounts of time, energy, and social activity to gaming and social worlds that appear and feel real, making people the stars of their own productions. Virtual relations will challenge real world social relations.”

Warren Yoder, executive director of the Public Policy Center of Mississippi, wrote, “There is now a significant information underload (as opposed to an overload.) We can’t get our stuff to do what we want. We can’t discover the people that could help us when we need the help. We can’t get situated intelligence to refine our questions in a way that would relieve our situated ignorance. Our need-to-control reach is steadily outpacing our information grasp, and the gap is the greatest it has been since the beginning of the information age. The gap is felt as an ache that shiny cannot touch. What the killer app will be, I have no idea. Can we link our 3D printers to our brain wave scanners and produce a built environment for our deepest desires? Not by 2025. But a gap this big will call forth remarkable applications.”

Kathryn Campbell, a partner with Primitive Spark, Inc., an interactive marketing firm based in Los Angeles, responded, “No question, bandwidth will play the same kind of transformational role in reshaping society that railroads and freeways played in our past. I am most excited about the potential for truly immersive entertainment and communications as bandwidth continues to explode. On the entertainment front, I think something like the Holodeck concept first shown in the old Star Trek series is actually within our grasp by 2025. Games, films, shopping for cars and vacations, and (of course) porn will all become immersive 3D experiences. So will the 2025 version of that primitive tool that we call Skype today. Catching up with my sister in Papua New Guinea will be almost like being there in a decade (or at least I earnestly hope so!).”

Todd Cotts, a business professional, wrote, “Moore’s law (i.e., the exponential shrinking of transistor sizes on an integrated circuit) would suggest that applications will be created that require less bandwidth to function at more than optimal levels of user experience, allowing for an even more all-encompassing interaction between user and technology. Cellular-based processing is likely to be behind these innovative leaps in bandwidth efficiency. Cellular-based functionality is likely to be behind technological features—which we will by then know as ‘experiences’—that will allow users to connect with tools and applications at a biological/neurological level, enabling an immersive experience—virtual reality—blurring the lines between reality and non-physical-reality in gaming, shopping, traveling, working (i.e. virtual surgery), and even dating, delivering to the user the experiences of ‘being there,’ accompanied by the smells, sights, sounds, perceptions, sensations, and emotions that would otherwise be experienced only on a physical plane.

John Senall, a principal and founder of Mobile First Media, LLC, responded, “Additional bandwidth, combined with eventual adoption of more virtual and augmented reality applications, will have an impact over time. While it will never replace some in-person experiences, the change will be felt in the medical field a great deal, as hospitals and healthcare providers are forced to keep up with trends and consumer interest in any application that can save time, money, and frustration when dealing with health visits and counsel. Retail fields will also push the envelope as in-home shopping becomes much more virtual an experience, allowing consumers to see 3D models of items right in their home before buying, to try on clothing virtually by body type and size, and to see how a piece of furniture looks in their living room via AR simulation, and additional easy color and texture options within a virtual space.”

Aaron Balick, a psychotherapist and author of The Psychodynamics of Social Networking, wrote, “No doubt as the technology develops to allow wider bandwidth, apps will develop to fill that bandwidth: this seems to be a law of technology. Technology offers limited complexity at the moment. Even the most advanced 3D games and immersive environments lack the rich sensual complexity of the most prosaic things in everyday life (think simply of taking a shower). The widening of bandwidth may very well enable other sensory experiences to be manifested by way of the Internet in ways we can only begin to imagine.”

Isaac Mao, chief architect of Sharism Lab, wrote, “New peer-to-peer media sharing (audio, video, photo, lifelog, and data) will generate huge new requirements on bandwidth, and new standards of communication protocols including application standards will emerge as well.”

James Wisdom Jr., owner of Wisdom Consulting and General Contracting LLC commented, “People being able to see people in front of them if they are miles away and getting the sense the are standing next to you. Being able to see countries without leaving the country you are in and being able to, in a virtual sense, purchase items from countries without tariffs in place. Going on virtual vacation will start a new digital revolution.”

Tony Cline, adjunct professor of sociology and education at Columbia University, wrote, “As the costs of technology and connectivity decrease, a larger proportion of the population will have access. Hopefully, an effective support structure for use of that technology will expand and help to eliminate the digital gap. In addition, the enhanced capability of the technology will greatly impact the health fields, particularly in distance diagnosis and personalized treatment.”

Polina Kolozaridi, a faculty member at the Center for New Media and Society, based in Russia, responded, “First, plenty of safety apps, beginning with chips in all things and surroundings, then in people themselves and perhaps even organs. Second, great marketing communication opportunities that come with the ability to make almost every thing very quickly and deliver it. Third, new interactive entertainment like traveling to some ‘other’ epochs, gamification of cinema, et cetera.”

Matt Belge, a user-experience designer at Vision & Logic, wrote, “Collaboration over long distances will become easier and easier as bandwidth increases. This will make possible a wide range of capabilities including collaborative medicine practiced on a per patient basis, creative, live collaboration in activities like music, concerts, and performances of all kinds, and business collaboration utilizing diverse skills and cultures. There will be much more of a ‘telepresence’ society where physical location is not an inhibitor to collaboration.”

Adam Nelson, founder of Kili.io, a cloud Infrastructure in Africa, commented, “It’s not just the amount of bandwidth available, but the cheapness of it. If gigabit (sub-100ms latency) connectivity were 10% of the current price, things like sharing large files between phones on LTE anywhere in the world without thinking about it will be a reality.”

Adam Gismondi, PhD candidate in higher education at Boston College, responded, “Much as the decreasing cost of storage space and increases in bandwidth have resulted in apps that use these new capabilities to implement video (Vine, Instagram, FaceTime), future apps will likely follow a similar trend. By 2025, many of these tools and applications may take the video capability to the next level through immersive, interactive video. These sorts of applications can already be seen through revolutionary music videos recently produced (Arcade Fire, Bob Dylan, and others), but this will be enhanced to work seamlessly on mobile.”

Richard Rothenberg, Regents’ Professor at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University, wrote, “The gains are in convenience and efficiency. There will be occasional good ideas, just as there have always been. We may do things faster, but we won’t think faster.”

Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, wrote, “Nobody knows what they are. That’s why we should preserve the maximum freedom to innovate and experiment. Someone will come up with something massively cool if we let them.”

David Lee King, an information science professional, wrote, “That’s the beauty of the Internet age. Eleven years ago, we had an amazingly different Internet than we have today. Eleven years from now will be much the same, but the changes will speed up. I am not sure exactly what we will see, but I do know it will look completely different from today’s Internet.”

Pietro Ciminelli, director of finance for Boards Of Cooperative Educational Services, wrote, “All types of applications, forms, and manuals will be online. The US Postal Service will continue to become obsolete. Killer apps may be diagnostics for appliances, auto, furnace, and security.”

Susan Keating, a self-employed digital consultant and instructor, responded, “Telepresence for meetings and communicating; researching by computer for medical or research projects; perhaps remote medicine and surgeries; TV won’t be a screen, but acted out in your room by holograms.”

Karen Landis, user-experience team leader for Belk.com, a department store, wrote, “Implants and wearables will replace tools we carry or purchase. Technology will be biological in the sense that those that can afford it will ‘receive’ it as children. It will be part of our body and our minds will not function well without it. We will be dependent on it. There will probably be new forms of addiction and theft. It will also redefine what a ‘thought’ is, as we won’t ‘think’ unassisted.”

Tina Glengary, the director of strategy at Instrument, commented, “These new apps will take advantage of being ‘always on,’ regardless of bandwidth issues.”

Scott McLeod, director of innovation for the Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency in Iowa, responded, “I see the possibility of 3D immersive simulations as incredibly promising opportunities. The ability to not just watch, but actually be immersed in different kinds of environments will come closer to reality with faster bandwidth.”

Neil Krasnoff, an instructional system design professional, wrote, “Learning tools will be come extremely immersive and effective at developing skills of all kinds. Virtual reality and multimedia design will allow people to master languages and fields of knowledge with relative ease. School in the traditional sense will not be the primary means of learning. The upside of these training technologies is that people will be able to learn new skills and fields fast enough to adapt to the rapidly evolving economy.”

Will Stuivenga, information science professional in the state of Washington, commented, “One area sure to have significant advances will be apps that aid individuals in recording and making available (to themselves, and to others, if desired) every detail of their lives: full video recording capability for one’s own life, for instance, and the ability to immediately and easily interface with this archival record, search it, replay it, share it, et cetera.”

Mary A. Malinconico, a consultant, wrote, “Of course there will be new apps that take advantage of the new infrastructure (if it is ever funded and built). Self-driving cars would increase productivity, allowing workers to create during their work commute!”

Robert Furberg, RTI International senior clinical informaticist, wrote, “As a public health technologist, the greatest area of interest for me is in how applications will facilitate: 1) improved self-efficacy of chronic disease management; 2) online health community engagement for social support and higher levels of engagement with an individual’s own care, or that of a family member. Major drivers include: the increase in connectivity between individuals via social technologies, passive data collection via wearables, and the Internet of things, the fluidity of information, and new means to analyze and visualize data.”

Barbara A. Genco, manager of special projects at Library Journal, responded, “The mobile app explosion had ‘only just begun’. I think that Boomers will readily embrace more support for improved quality of life needs (diet and exercise, health care, security, services). And, as there will be few younger folks to care for all us old folks—more interaction with doctors and physical trainers. Visiting with grandchildren or family members (at home, at school, et cetera) via apps will be the norm. Yes, more immersive entertainment is a given. But there must be attention paid to whether this will reduce or enhance essential human interactions? Will relationships devolve into the dystopia as seen in the film Her? Will current gaps between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ widen to mirror the nightmare worlds we see in films like The Hunger Games or video games? Will immersive media keep people engaged in the social good or welfare of our entire society or keep the lower classes too ‘busy’ or ‘mollified’ to be engaged in society?”

Ken Elmore, audience research and development strategist, wrote, “Interactive connectivity, like FaceTime and Skype, will expand, taking the place of voice-only calls. By 2025 I can see physical devices, like tablets and phones, replaced by virtual floating displays produced by wearable media such as watches or headgear. The air becomes our desktop.”

James Penrod, former CIO at Pepperdine University, the University of Maryland at Baltimore, California State University at Los Angeles, and the University of Memphis, commented, “The change will be dramatic but outside of 3D printing to the home, I am not sure what predictions to make.”

Jack Hardy, principal at Niche Public Relations, commented, “Our interaction in this digital era will be through voice commands and motion control. 3D and holographic images and interaction will be the norm. The television, telephone, and Internet experience will be transformed to such a degree that it will be largely unrecognizable from its previous incarnation.”

Brenda Freedman, a digital publicist, commented, “Speaking from almost 20 years of working online, as well as using the Internet for entertainment and social interaction, media has taken a giant leap. As connectivity speeds have increased, so has the opportunity for unlimited media experiences. Although we take live streaming for granted, and the quality of video programming is excellent, I imagine more immersion and combination of media resources. With all of our technology, however, we are still dependent on ‘being connected.’ Exciting to me, and I think most, will be the ability to connect anywhere, any time.”

Stuart Osnow, a partner at Prime New York, providing voter-based data for political and government communities, responded, “I believe instant communication will compel us to be open and involved with friends and associates without dial up and without interruption. I think it will aid in collaboration but could get extreme.”

Cliff Zukin, a professor at Rutgers University, wrote, “That would be a pretty simple evolution to imagine, like every three to five years, much less twelve. Generations come more quickly in a digital world. Consider Google MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, whatever. And, as we enter the era of big data, there will be more data to sort with an increased bandwidth to do it. We’re headed for more fragmentation and personal targeting as consumers.”

John Saguto, an executive decision support analyst for geospatial information systems for large-scale disaster response, wrote, “Yes, again we are already using gig level bandwidth as we use HD on-demand video. Entertainment devices are routinely peak capacity users of incredibly large datasets. These are virtual 3D-modeled worlds and interactive media. It will start slowly, much like video conferencing, but soon expand to user controlled massive media that will (finally) eliminate keyboards for voice and gestures, thus expanding the market as well as opening up the technology to have real-time translators for expanding communications beyond the present-day thinking!”

Clark Sept, the co-founder and principal of Business Place Strategies, Inc., wrote, “Unmet needs are one of the hardest things to discover, and even harder to forecast. Suffice it to say that as technologies drive change, the rate of change will be compound, and more change will beget more change. One such killer app will be a ‘personal information assistant’—a digital agent that will filter incoming information (news, education, entertainment, lifestyle) in a way similar, but more relevant and successful, to online services such as Pandora or iTunes Genius do today for entertainment.”

Dennis McCann, the director of computer training at the Peoples Resource Center in Wheaton, Illinois, and formerly a senior technical consultant at Cisco and IBM, wrote, “The apps are more or less in place or in development. An era of consolidation may ensue where the consequences of tech changes shape new social policies and business models.”

Christoph Trappe, vice president for communications and innovation for the United Way of East Central Iowa, commented, “Very hard to say, but I envision a future where apps will integrate truly with our lives. The end of having to look at a screen to text, Tweet, etc., with someone else should be over.”

Ian Lamont, founder of i30 Media, a publisher of technology, business, and health guides, wrote, “Major transformations will result from changes in medicine and medical IT. The tyranny of distance that currently limits people living in rural areas and poorer countries from receiving high-quality medical care will be partially overthrown, thanks to gigabit connections to these places and better applications for diagnosing and treating various injuries, diseases, and conditions. Improvements in imaging technologies, genetic testing, and pharmaceutical development will be amplified in the gigabit age, thanks to increased access and better feedback systems. There are also interesting possibilities enabled by advances in and brain-computer interface development. Not sure what those applications will look like, but there is potential to revolutionize education, communications, media, entertainment, medicine, etc.”

Anita Salem, a design research consultant, responded, “The operating system will be integrated into the human body. I predict killer apps that control objects through thought, drug implants, virus detectors, stimulants and narcotics, super powers (x-ray vision, super hearing, self emitting light), instant communications, virtual reality games, privacy and identity hiding tools, virtual pornography, robotic pets, robotic personal helpers, virtual wars, forced sterilizations, or birth control.”

Heywood Sloane, a principal and consultant with expertise in financial and business technologies wrote, “Moore’s Law still applies, and as capacity increases the ideas and innovations to exploit that also increase to a point where it is fully absorbed—and drives yet more growth. While it is difficult to prognosticate what the next gigabyte app will be, it is easy to look at the various accomplishments of Microsoft, Apple, Palm, Nokia, Google, Facebook, and many others to see that huge strides can happen in relatively short periods. Mobility apps are well underway already—and the strategies well along. Were I a betting man, I’d look in the medical and health care space for the next major innovation. The global population (not just the United States) is aging. Medical strides are research and communications intensive. The market is woefully inefficient, and the demand is high and growing. Many of the enabling steps are falling into place, and have been over the past two decades. It is ripe for a real game changer.”

Munir Mandviwalla, an associate professor and chair of the business school at Temple University commented, “My generation grew up with the screech of the telephone modem, we are ‘genetically’ limited in our thinking about how to use gobs of bandwidth. My son’s generation is the always on excess bandwidth generation. They will have ideas that we cannot think of.”

Manuel Landa, the CEO of Urban360, a Mexican start-up, wrote, “More bandwidth will create incremental improvements in certain areas, but overall it is going to be similar to digital photography, where the real improvement from an 8 megapixel camera and a 32 megapixel camera is irrelevant for most of the people.”

Sunil Gunderia, a mobile strategist at an education start-up, commented, “The gigabit age will enable huge advances leveraging predictive analytics to determine what an individual is likely to want to do next. This ‘AI’ will allow personal agents to offer useful real time information to help decide almost every aspect of your life.”

David J. Wierz, a strategic analytics professional for OCI, commented, “Virtual reality becomes the reality. The current ‘fad’ emulates effects such as that in the film HER. More practical applications become in creating fully interactive, personalized touring as well as visitation with family and friends. There is further the means to engage in ‘live’ sports and ‘play’ the game with a team set in one location or composed across multiple geographies. I’ll also note the potential with medical care, personal engagement for care management, and the means to create a fully interactive ‘environment’ in the home or group area for individuals support health, wellness, mental participation, and care.

David Bernstein, president at The Bernstein Agency, a marketing and research consultancy, commented, “Just as the cell phone and smartphone have made information and communications available nearly everywhere at anytime, virtual reality communication could become technologically and economically reachable in the same manner. Virtual reality extensions of regular communications will likely start in the gaming industry, but could quickly move into the mainstream. Eventually, I believe it could change the way we preserve our past. In the same way that photography changed the way we could preserve our personal and collective history, imagine the impact of being able to walk ‘into’ an old family photograph or video.”

Jeanne Brittingham, an opinion research consultant working with environmental management systems, commented, “One aspect of increased connectivity will be the ability of the human brain to adapt to it. Perhaps science’s fruits will burst upon the brain in such a way as to create social behaviors that are not self-preserving.”

Marc Brenman, a faculty member at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, replied, “We cannot know what the big apps will be, just as we couldn’t know what was coming decades ago. However, hard devices may become less important as ‘intelligence’ becomes ubiquitously embedded in devices and the ‘Internet of Things.’ Images will be projected everywhere. Holograms will become common. It will be harder to differentiate between what is ‘real’ and what is ‘computed.’ More electronic devices will be embedded in our bodies. Body parts will be grown and repairs made to what were previously irreparable damage.”

Aliza Sherman, a new media entrepreneur and author, commented, “Immersive shopping experiences—virtual dressing rooms, virtual salons, getting the full picture or look before making the purchase. Immersive travel experiences for research and education or pleasure and entertainment.”

Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois-Springfield, commented, “Holographic, immersive environments will emerge enabling us to fully engage others at a distance. This will have significant implications for education, training, recreation, and travel. Virtual opportunities will proliferate for people to engage one another in more than mere text chats; more than Skype; more than Google hangouts; instead they will be able to meet virtual face-to-face. These meetings can be in a wholly unique environment. For example a person in Norway may be with another person in Seattle. They will be represented in 3D to one another in a setting in Hawaii.”

S. Craig Watkins, a professor and author based at the University of Texas-Austin, responded, “This will be the new frontier, thus it’s hard to imagine what innovations are on the horizon. But the arrival of the gigabit age—Google Fiber and others—is coming and it will allow for faster connectivity, high end, high quality communication and video conferencing that will change how we conduct meetings, collaborate, share ideas, and create. The real challenge will be if these new applications can transform how resource poor schools and communities connect to the world, expertise, and knowledge.”

Michael Slavitch, principal architect at Diablo Technologies wrote, “If I knew I would be building it.”

Elizabeth Albrycht, a senior lecturer in marketing and communications at the Paris School of Business, wrote, “Of course there will be. I suspect they will involve gossip, voyeurism, sharing and commerce as all the killer apps today do (and have always done).”

Tom Folkes, an Internet professional, predicted, “3D printing will require a lot of bandwidth and will change almost everything. We will be able to do more and analyze an amazing amount of data.”

Chen Jiangong, an Internet business analyst in China commented, “Firstly, the new killer apps will be born in medical field. I believe that the distance surgery will become common. Secondly, the service based on emotion will rise because big data will be able to forecast the emotional need of people.”

Steve Jones, a distinguished professor of communications at the University of Illinois-Chicago commented, “If I knew what these might be I’d be investing in them. My guesses are that a good deal of this will be related to increased streaming of high-density content (e.g., UHD and its successors) as well as wall-sized screens in homes. Management of personal digital assets will also require advances in storage and transmission, as well as apps to curate content.”

Jan Schaffer, the executive director of J-Lab, wrote, “Movies and television will be even more disrupted than they are starting to be. The cell phone industry is ripe for disruption, by cheaper, more powerful models. Healthcare data will be transformed. Education will be transformed.”

Michael Wollowski wrote, “If I knew the answer to this question, I would not be responding to this survey, rather, I would be developing it. Going back to systems like IBM’s Watson that can intelligently digest large amounts of information; If we pull this information from different sources, we can provide intelligent information at a moment’s notice. Imagine a digital assistant that is at once an attorney, a physician, a teacher and many other things. It is going to be a paradise for the curious.”

Bob Ubell, vice dean for online learning at New York University wrote, “Since new digital applications have already altered consumer habits, without major recent increases in connectivity, it’s altogether likely—based on mushrooming applications and usage, owing to vast migration from laptop to cell phone—that as new opportunities emerge, consumers will follow applications that offer convenience and engagement at lower cost. The history of consumer technology has followed this path relentlessly over the last century. There is little evidence that it will abate.”

Gary McGraw, the CTO for Cigital, Inc., and the father of software security, wrote, “Killer apps will involve knowing way too much about you. But they will be so cool that we will all use them anyway.”

David Orban, the CEO of Dotsub, wrote, “High-bandwidth and high-definition communication will allow the emergence of what we’ll call emotional computing. Remote group collaboration will gain a fundamental new dimension in being able to record, transmit, analyze, and understand the full gamut of human emotions. Facial expressions, subtle changes in voice stresses, gestures, will all be part of how we will communicate among each other for work and fun across any distance, with computers, and software platforms understanding these components, and being able to adapt to them, facilitating the efficient reaching of goals and objectives.”

Vytautas Butrimas, chief adviser to a major government’s ministry with experience in ICT and defense policy, commented, “Things will probably remain similar in terms of hi-tech ICT apps. Mobile communications and Internet will still dominate. The difference will be in the way and form content will be presented to the consumer. The big question mark is how far Government surveillance apps will go and at what cost to society.”

Daniel Miller, a professor at University College in London, responded, “Recent years have seen ever increasing innovation, and I see no reason why that trend should not continue. I have been working on ‘always-on’ connectivity through webcam and this issue is raised as ambient awareness in Clive Thompson’s new book Smarter Than You Think, so one area that I expect to develop is different ways people can effectively live together even though they are apart. Given the increase in diaspora populations and migration for work this may be one of the most important consequences of increasing bandwidth. This is not the same as communication, since one of the main advantages of `always-on’ living together is you don’t have to be talking to each other all the time.”

Liza Potts, assistant professor and senior researcher for writing in digital environments at Michigan State University, responded, “One can only hope that such amazing bandwidth would improve our digital entertainment spectrum. Considering personal technologies like the ones created in our many science fiction books, television shows, and movies, it would be amazing to have immersive systems become a reality. Holograms, holodecks, and other ways in which we could connect with each other over time and space.”

Rui Correia, the founding director of Netday Namibia, a nonprofit supporting information and communications technologies for education and development, commented, “Wearable communication technologies—an effective convergence of the computer and the communication device with significant attention to the use of personal pico power—the cost-effective personal use of renewable power generation to support such technologies.”

Mary Joyce, an Internet researcher and digital activism consultant, commented, “Big data will become user friendly. Users will be able to track their health, social networks, and productivity using the data collected about them, though they’ll likely be forced to buy it back or pay to access it. Companies who currently monetize social and productivity infrastructure in the cloud will monetize the data they have created about their users, but as retail consumer goods, not as business intelligence.”

Kevin Ryan, a corporate communications and marketing professional responded, “Of course there will be killer apps as gigabit connectivity becomes available. My dream killer app would be for the best comeback ever when I have been dissed or belittled. Immediate, articulate, intelligent and cutting but with a way to make it seem like a joke if I had to. I would like to see an app where old people with declining health could recreate a virtual world where they were young again.”

Vittorio Veltroni ,the CEO for Hyppo Corporation, a digital and customer-knowledge consultancy, replied, “Personalized news flows, personalized entertainment access, personalized time-optimization schedules, intelligent cars, intelligent exercise/fitness machines, intelligent machines optimizing human life for health and longevity.”

Annette Liska, the director of design at a research and design firm, commented, “The person who imagines the killer app of 2025 is unlikely to tell you here! Bandwidth will increase ease and speed of access to data, but that may not naturally lead to increases in personal connectivity. That being said, connectivity can be understood in different ways: that which is mediated by technology; that which is not; and a hybrid of the two. The best apps of the future will likely be a hybrid. One interesting area of cognitive research is pre-cognition, or things that lead to our responses or decisions before we act on them, even in the space of a nanosecond. A tool that intelligently and graciously recognize our likely choices and behaviors (without overloading with information), then allows us to modify our choices based on a predictive outcome of those choices, could play a key role in self-awareness, self-development, empathy, creativity, and our fundamental desire to a) feel connection to others and b) to be wise more than impulsive. The feedback loop will likely be visual in nature. This tool will likely use sensors and be implanted, but only turned on when desired (full immersion in technology is, for the most part, not a healthy or desirable quality of being human). This concept speaks nothing of the potential for misuse or addictiveness.”

Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker, host of the AOL series The Future Starts Here, and founder of The Webby Awards, commented, “We have no idea what new apps will exist when every human on the planet is online. We could have never predicted Google or Twitter. I can’t wait to see what 2025 will bring.”

Laurel Papworth, a social media educator, responded, “We are looking at full video lifestreaming in the near future. The Lost Generation had to manually document their lives. The Eternity Generations (from now on) face a future where the tapestry of life has ceased to unravel. Lifestreaming from ultrasound to final illness (and beyond if we add intelligent bots to the life data) will be the killer app. The challenge going forward is to live a full life. No one will be able to sit around in their underwear watching TV if their lives are being streamed for current and future generations. There is a small possibility that by 2025 behavior will have normalized (back to passive, not caring of opinion of watchers) but more likely that will take more time.”

Frank Pasquale, a law professor at a state university, commented, “Beset by anomie, many will seek increased connectivity online and ways of evaluating their activities (ranging from chores to health status to attractiveness to intelligence). I also hope that Health apps will get much better, aspiring to the condition of Star Trek’s tricorder.”

Rex Troumbley, a graduate research assistant at the University of Hawaii at Manoa commented, “As bandwidth increases, we can expect to see more services provided electronically. However, we should not expect these bandwidth increases to be evenly distributed and many who cannot afford access to increased bandwidth will be left with low-bandwidth options. We may see a new class divergence between those able to access immersive media, online telepathy, human consciousness uploads, and remote computing while the poor will be left with the low-bandwidth experiences we typically use today.”

Matias Perel, a leader with DotConnectAfrica in Nairobi, Kenya, wrote, “3D printers will work to deliver toys to kids. Also, holograms will work to communicate among people in different continents.”

Nishant Shah, a visiting professor at The Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana University in German, wrote, “Just given the scope of innovation and the ambition of the digital, there is no denying that with increased bandwidth we will have new ways of dealing with technologies. But it might be more interesting to speculate that bandwidth, which largely defines human-machine access rates, might have changed quite dramatically by then. It would be interesting to understand bandwidth as a facilitator of human to human contact. Because that is where the true social and political reorganization is going to emerge from.”

Riel Miller, the head of foresight for UNESCO, based in Paris, responded, “Primarily augmented reality. Once the previous two issues are addressed then the value of augmented reality increases a great deal.”

Kalev Leetaru, a Yahoo fellow in residence at Georgetown University, responded, “Telemedicine and new forms of video conferencing will become mainstream.”

Brian Butler, a professor at the University of Maryland, responded, “This will happen—however, I don’t have any particular insight into what it will be. One thing though—it won’t necessarily be radical new technology it will be a new type of system (tech, practices, narrative, etc.). Facebook was a ‘killer app’ to get many people involved in social media. Netflix is a ‘killer app’ in entertainment. Unless you get the system built right, the technology is more likely to be a chased fad than a true killer app. For example, genomics and personalized medicine. While we need to continue technical development the challenge at this point is to build the institutional, professional, and patient skills and practices needed to do something with it on more than a pilot-testing level.”

David Bollier, a long-time scholar and activist focused on the commons, wrote, “Yes, but again, I think your question contains embedded assumptions that may or may not hold true: 1) that the Internet will necessarily remain open and nondiscriminatory (net neutrality); 2) that telecommunications providers will indeed build out Internet bandwidth in significant and roughly ubiquitous ways; and 3) that killer apps are necessarily the biggest, most desirable outcome imaginable. The social capacity to use and diffuse new apps, and to innovate ‘on top’ of them, is at least as important. The most promising avenues involve social collaboration, especially in nonmarket, commons-based contexts—but most business models today presume some monetization imperative that can limit or poison collaborative possibilities, and bottom-up, self-organized financing and governance remain rudimentary and under-theorized.”

George Lessard, information curator and communications and media specialist at MediaMentor.ca, responded, “Yes and the digital divide’s gap between the US ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ will grow even larger.”

William Schrader, the co-founder and CEO of PSINet Inc., the first commercial ISP, responded, “As gigabit bandwidth becomes widespread later this decade, applications will emerge which exploit the combination of big data, GPS location, weather, personal health monitoring devices, industrial production, and much more. The apps will monitor and modify the electric power grid demand side to eliminate brown-outs, other industrial applications, or more individual apps which allow ten or more friends to jointly converse by video as if in one room while they are spread across the world. They are coming. Gigabit bandwidth is one of the few real ‘Build It and They Will Come’ moments for new killer apps. The fact that no one had imagined the other killer apps prior to seeing them grow rapidly implies that no one can imagine these new ones—including me. But I am confident they will come.”

Dave Kissoondoyal, CEO for KMP Global Ltd. and Internet consultant, commented, “By 2025, technology will have eased the everyday life of each individual. All communications will be on video. The use of cloud computing and video applications will have greatly increased, requiring instant access to the various applications and data. Virtual meeting will not only include viewing and talking to the correspondent but also having the feel of shaking hands and meeting the correspondent virtually.”

Dean Thrasher, founder of Infovark, Inc., wrote, “One potential use of high-bandwidth connections is the use of telepresence technologies for business or pleasure. Eager to save on the costs and time involved with travel, I can imagine more and more companies and families opting for rich experiences that go beyond what we can do today with Skype and FaceTime. I also imagine that 3D and virtual reality technologies will continue to improve and be incorporated into entertainment and games.”

Lucas Gonze, a respondent who shared no other identifying details, wrote, “The size of a data set increases its utility and reduces its ability to travel. Latency to move data around overcomes the benefits of performing computations efficiently. For example performing face recognition requires the data set (the catalog of all faces) to be operated on as a whole, yet large catalogs of face images are prohibitively slow to move around. Significant bandwidth increases will allow larger data sets to be operated on in-place, enabling new types of data-driven value.”

Mikey O’Connor, an elected representative to the GNSO Council, representing the ISP and connectivity provider constituency at ICANN, commented, “There will always be applications (new and old) that consume more bandwidth. Some of those will be completely nifty. But ‘distinctive, and uniquely compelling’ is a high bar. I have two words for you. Are you listening? Mind control. That’s the ticket—solve that one and you’ve got the world by the tail. It may be that it’s already been solved, but there will be loads of opportunity in making it ever more effective.”

Janet Salmons, PhD and independent researcher and writer with Vision2Lead Inc., responded, “I think we’ll see more augmented reality apps that allow us to operate as ourselves or as avatars, and that those exchanges will be increasingly infused into everyday life. At the same time, I think we’ll start to see a different distinction emerge about what it means to be ‘in person.’ The loving touch, the expression of caring, the immediacy of personal presence will be more starkly contrasted with the options for immersive, any-time videoconference or virtual world exchanges that we have using communications technologies.”

Tom Hood, CEO of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants, wrote, “Immersive, participatory, and collaborative technologies will begin to blend the virtual with the real. Advances like Google Glass and mobile devices, location-aware technologies, and advances in computing power will allow for powerful applications for fun and work.”

Michael Glassman, an associate professor at Ohio State University, responded, “Yes, I think we have just begun to conceive of what is possible using the Internet. I think it is impossible to tell what applications will emerge. The only thing we can be sure about is that ideas we have not anticipated will emerge.”

Larry Gell, founder and director of the International Agency for Economic Development and weekly United Nations TV producer, commented, “Why not? Of course! Why would you stop technological advances? It never has been done. It is our future and our security if we are going to maintain the Empire. The whole globe instantly connected. We will have immediate information from any place on the globe, advance warnings of military build ups in countries, to corrupt individuals/governments. Our future is in outer space, bottom of the oceans, Mars, the Moon, etc., and we need all tech advances possible.”

Mícheál Ó Foghlú, chief technology officer of FeedHenry, wrote, “I don’t know what the new gigabit apps are, but I am sure they will come. Collecting one’s own video life history may become more mainstream rather than the geek sideline it is now. Much of the important usage will come from an ability to process and analyse the data collected, and not just the increasing capacity to capture it.”

Agustin Rossi, a PhD candidate at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence, Italy, wrote, “There is a mutually constitutive process between Internet services applications and available bandwidth: the offer of the one creates the demand for the other. In this sense it is more than reasonable to expect new killer apps because of the convergence of media and culture towards Internet protocol. Saying more than that it is impossible.”

Daren C. Brabham, assistant professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, wrote, “The arrival of Google Fiber in some US cities has already spurred a number of start-ups that envision new uses for increased bandwidth. Some of these applications of higher bandwidth include graphically intense multi-player online gaming on-the-go. With better bandwidth in more places, blockbuster game franchises (Halo, Call of Duty, etc.) will leave the game room and integrate seamlessly into people’s commuting time or other segments of down time. I also predict more educational uses for this bandwidth, including complex immersive learning simulations for medical and law students. With this higher level of intensive training, I believe we will start to see online medical and legal degrees emerge. Finally, I think this level of bandwidth will mean that we will actually own less and less on our devices and will instead rent most of it (software-as-a-service) in real-time from remote servers. This will put less of a focus on apps in mobile devices and more of a focus on the brute power of processors again.”

Andrew Chen, associate professor of computer science at Minnesota State University Moorhead, responded, “Oculus Rift and similar technologies combined with 3D (stereoscopic) cameras and haptic-feedback gloves, clothing, and wearables will result in 3D ‘chat’ technologies that will come close to having people be able to ‘reach out and feel’ each other. This will get great popular press and many will choose to obtain this technology but this will not be commonly used because of how it will interfere with mobile usage—this will be a luxury for those that can stay at home, which most will be unable to.”

Rashid Bashshur, senior advisor for eHealth for the University of Michigan Health System, observed, “No doubt, one follows from the other. The change will be incremental, though dramatic at times. There will be breakthroughs as a consequence of ubiquitous gigabit connectivity within the reach of the average citizen.”

Alison Alexander, a professor at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, wrote, “I’m in Star Trek territory here. I think that we will increasingly have everything we need at immediate hand. All relevant data can be easily accessed from everywhere and easily put to use. In this new information age, all information (and entertainment) is available easily no matter where you are. One killer app that could take off is a virtual reality environment, a la Google Glass. Forget reality, live in your selected world. Visit wherever and whenever. This is not a killer app, but the global nature of connectivity could foster an integrated world economy, breaking down the importance of nations and governments. Foolish optimism, but perhaps we will even be able to make bureaucracy operate more effectively. I am very excited about the power of connectivity to solve research problems. It is happening already, but how wonderful when barriers of time and place no longer hinder collaboration.”

danah boyd, a research scientist for Microsoft, responded, “Moore’s law predicts that the answer is yes. If I knew what it was, I’d be building that instead of filling out this survey.”

Adrian Schofield, manager of applied research for the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering, wrote, “I am not convinced that you should limit this to the US. America may well be trailing the rest of the world which has the opportunity to make a quantum leap in developing and adopting new uses for real broadband.”

Alf Rehn, chair of management and organization at Åbo Akademi University, Finland, wrote, “The next great applications will in all likelihood come in other fields, away from the network. I’m looking at you, synthetic biology.”

Avery Holton, an assistant professor at the University of Utah, responded, “Apps are becoming more accessible as technologies become more accessible. The gap is being bridged, so to speak. So long as this continues, apps will play a larger role. They will also become much more personal, working on algorithms that tailor information.”

Francois-Dominique Armingaud, a retired computer engineer from IBM now teaching security at universities, wrote, “Whenever new possibilities appear, new ideas come with them to people thinking ‘out of the box.’ IBM succeeded because they understood that mainframe computers would sell by thousands (though they did not tell it), Microsoft because they understood that personal computers would sell by millions, Google because they understood that Internet users would be billions. However, as usual, perhaps 1% of the adventures around that will be successful. If I had the ideas that will be the successful ones, I guess I would work hard to be a millionaire instead of wasting time on Facebook. So I cannot predict these future ideas, but I am pretty sure that things like TEDx, Coursera and others will be successful. If all Internet providers allow Internet protocol multicast, democracy could reach new heights and individual lives as well. Just imagine giving a guitar course online to eighteen people or more scattered anywhere at a time.”

Celia Pearce, an associate professor of digital media at the Georgia Institute of Technology, wrote, “Bandwidth keeps growing. We will come up with stuff to do with it. I think the vast majority of what we end up doing with it will be entertainment-based.”

Neil McIntosh, a British journalist working for a major US news organization, wrote, “I said yes, but I don’t know what they are yet. If I did, with the greatest respect to Pew, I probably wouldn’t be handing them over in a survey form.”

Mark Nall, a program manager for NASA, responded, “That is the billion-dollar question isn’t it? Opportunities for entertainment and family/friends connectivity will increase. I’ll take a guess here and say that a person equipped with multiple (nearly) always on unobtrusive high-definition cameras and microphones, touring a city or skiing while streaming an Adobe Illustrator edited (don’t want anything embarrassing) feed to select friends and relatives. Call it Foursquare on steroids!”

Justin Reich, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said, “If I knew, I wouldn’t be telling you; I’d be making a killing! I’m not sure what creative new ideas people will come up with, but I suspect they will.”

K.G. Schneider, a university librarian, wrote, “Based on my experiences with technology since the late 1980s, the ‘killer apps’ will range from the unobvious to the seismic. Again referencing my library work, I see amazing potential of wearable computing to contribute a near-harmonious information-seeking environment where the analog world is enhanced and opened by the digital world. There are probably implications for sexual environments, but I’d prefer not to dwell on that. Instead, I’ll make a haimish comment about how useful it would be to ‘see’ my recipes in a wearable heads-up display while I’m cooking, rather than interact manually with a paper book or worse, a tablet or other device. Having worked on airplanes in my youth, having more controls as I move through life would be useful.”

Darel Preble, executive director and founder of the Space Solar Power Institute, wrote, “Space Solar power is at the top of that list. The reason is that without the widely available clean energy to power our civilization, commerce and many dependent communication forms will be markedly reduced.”

Marti Hearst, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, wrote, “These ideas aren’t new, but I think they will finally work well enough if given high enough bandwidth. Entertainment: you play sports and music virtually, distributed, across the globe. Co-living: You have virtual Thanksgiving dinner with the other side of the family. Work: finally, we greatly reduce flying around for meetings because virtual conferencing feels real. Healthcare: remote assessment, treatment, and surgery. More generally, more interaction done with others remotely. For example, your golf lesson could be done with a coach remotely, in real time, while he or she watches your swing at the tee and has you make corrections and adjust your grip.”

Linda Rogers, the founder of Music Island in Second Life and grant writer for Arts for Children and Youth in Toronto, wrote, “Virtual Reality is still waiting to be realized. Although Linden Labs Second Life may be remembered as the “MySpace of Virtual Reality” the main problem with that virtual world was that it was seriously ahead of its time and ahead of the technology. Only those with the best bandwidth and processors had positive experiences. The taste for virtual immersion will continue with experiments like Oculus Rift goggles. The now bulky headsets will be replaced by more minimalist screens and full body sensory suits that will allow the individual to really feel like they are swimming or flying.”

Andrew Bridges, a partner and Internet law litigator and policy analyst at Fenwick & West LLP, wrote, “I have no idea what the next wave of killer apps will be, but it would be silly to predict the demise of the phenomenon. Every year spawns one new killer app and I’m just waiting to find out what the next waves will bring.”

Sakari Taipale, a social policy and new technologies researcher in Finland, wrote, “I am sure that new killer apps will emerge, most likely, at least in the medical and care work sectors. Domestic technologies that will assist aging people on a daily basis, providing them with interactive connectivity with nurses, physician, relatives, etc, will require more and more bandwidth.”

Sharon Collingwood, a senior lecturer at Ohio State University, wrote, “Virtual worlds are unfashionable now, but continue to make strong and steady improvements in the technology. The technology is open source, and there is a small but still quite substantial community of users who are collaborating for innovation. Virtual worlds offer the possibility of real-time collaboration with no loss of worker time spent in traveling; reducing travel is also cost-effective and beneficial for the environment. As resources dwindle, business and education will look for ways to promote social cohesiveness in organizations, and virtual worlds offer a rich set of resources for this purpose. The adoption of virtual worlds may be gradual, or it may be sparked by the appearance of a new interface, along the lines of Oculus Rift. Virtual worlds that dispense with the need for a special browser, like Cloud Party, may also play a role in adoption.”

Jon Lebkowsky, Web developer at Consumer’s Union, responded, “I expect refinement and extended use versus radically different tech. We’ll travel less, and use high bandwidth, high fidelity alternatives, especially since energy availability will have decreased significantly. I’m reminded that, despite higher bandwidth alternatives, texting has become perhaps the most common form of communication, at least among digital natives.”

Pamela Rutledge, PhD and director of the Media Psychology Research Center, responded, “The rapid popularity of visual communication, such as texting and posting images and videos, is just the start of multi-sensory communication. Increased bandwidth will allow apps to go far beyond annotating a video, such as shareable projectable augmented reality”

Larry Press, a writer, consultant, blogger, and part-time professor, said, “Our video entertainment will be delivered over the Internet. Interactive applications will be qualitatively improved—interaction with a two second delay feels very much different than interaction with a two-millisecond delay. We will do less multitasking during interaction delays.”

Dominic Pinto, a trust and foundation manager active in the Internet Society and IEEE, commented, “It’s unpredictable other than to say that people will continue to develop apps, Microsoft and others will continue to develop ever-bloated programs, services and apps, and governments and bureaucracies will want more and more online, and more and more monitored and controlled. And there’s as much interest and demand in the private sector as well as the spooks.”

Jane Adams, executive director of one of California’s state-based public organizations, replied, “Apps that broaden our sensory experiences while doing an activity will be created. For instance feeling that you are being at the top of Everest will be possible even if we aren’t there physically via apps. If you want the sights and smells of Paris or Istanbul there will be an app to bring that into our physical world. The world will seem smaller as we have the opportunity to ‘go’ to places without leaving our house. Perhaps we will have greater understanding of what it is like to live under extreme conditions such as war, poverty, hunger, and illness and this may make us more benevolent towards others as it will expand our world view.”

Tom Viall, a director of computer operations, observed, “The biggest change will be business travel. In our increasing global economy, business professionals need a better more efficient way of meeting with each other and their customers. Eventually the cost/value proposition will lead to truly virtual meeting places. Special rooms will be set up in major cities that will make our current video conferencing technology look like 1950s television. We will exchange documents and notes on a virtual table—we will see high definition (and maybe even 3D images) of our guests and be hard pressed to ever commit to an overseas red-eye again.”

Jerry P. Miller, a researcher based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, wrote, “Killer apps will definitely play a more dramatic role in our lives by 2025. To what extent? How might they be configured? I don’t know. But the technological capabilities are present to such a degree that they will play a definite part in our lives.”

Peter R. Jacoby, a college professor, replied, “At least since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, there have always been ‘new, distinctive, and uniquely compelling technology applications that capitalize upon significant increases in (efficacy) in (the world) between (whenever) and now. Never underestimate the power of fire, the board plow, and glass. (Forgive me, but this a silly question, really.)”

Meredith Gould, a self-employed digital strategist and communications consultant “Crystal ball/wishful thinking: Apps that actively engage people in managing their healthcare, personal finances, and time management.”

Charles Hendricksen, a retired mechanical and software engineer, entrepreneur, and scholar responded, “We are already past the gigabit age and well into the terabit age. Machines talking to machines under human control will dominate traffic. Borders are already vanishing.”

Yvette Wohn, a respondent who shared no other identifying details, commented, “I expect 3D projection (projecting three-dimensional synchronous images) will be the new form of video-conferencing. Virtual reality will become a household device (like the mobile phone) and be implemented first in entertainment form, such as massively multiplayer online games, and later be incorporated into communication devices. Moving beyond wearable computers, companies will be tinkering with prototypes of body-embedded technology that serves as communication device and personal health tracking device.”

Brian Asner, the senior strategic planner at a mid-sized marketing agency, wrote, “We are currently a long way from smart applications of ‘Big Data.’ But within the next decade, it seems that leaps in artificial intelligence should enable smart crunching of big data to provide the masses with intelligently interpreted implications that are simple to comprehend.”

Joe Hernandez, a self-employed and semi-retired equipping specialist responded, “With the popularity of apps on computer based devices and the desire to access more complex programs, the demand will be ever increasing and technology afforded the bandwidths to handle the programs will soon be the norm.”

Barbara Clark, a retiree and Internet user, wrote, “Bandwidth will increase as killer apps are needed to function be the common person. When I can ask for a diagnosis of a particular ailment by holding my iPad in a certain area on my body, then I will need more bandwidth. When I can access a killer app to fix a problem in my car then I will need more bandwidth. When I can stand within a choir of people projected around me (projected on a wall in my home) and feel as if I am a total part of the group as I sing, then I will need more bandwidth. When I can have a conversation with my congresswoman and feel as if she is in my presence, then more bandwidth. Needless to say manufacturing, transportation, medicine, personal learning, etc., will require killer apps and more bandwidth. The problem will be that the price of bandwidth will not drop in the United States because companies such as AT&T were not forward thinking in the 1980’s and went into major debt with fiber optic technology that common users continue to pay off!”

Sarah Andrews, a survey participant, responded, “Many people do not have current access to high-speed Internet at home and rely on their cell phones for everything. My current cell phone is faster than my home computer with a DSL connection. Apps—very specialized smaller programs—will become more important in the future and will move to the desktop to allow users to move seamlessly between multiple devices. Dropbox is a current model of this, but there will be more. Healthcare apps will be the first to be widely adopted. Healthcare providers are heavy users of technology, and patients are demanding more information than in the past. Apps that work on multiple devices and are easy to use will be adopted first. For example-if I were a doctor, I would like to be able to tell my patient to install X app, and then I would send the patient instructions, reminders, and allow them to interact with me or my staff through the app.”

Art Brodsky, a self-employed communications consultant, wrote, “If the telecommunications sector (or some other) provides the necessary infrastructure at reasonable rates, then all kinds of development could take place if people have the tools to work with. If not, all bets are off.”

Nathan Rodriguez, a PhD student at the University of Kansas, commented, “Yes, and the exciting thing is we don’t really know what will emerge. In 1993, I had a teacher who mentioned reading an article that the following seven years would see as much in the way of technological advancements as had been seen in the entire 20th century. At the time, it was difficult to generate a sense of how emerging technologies might come to be integrated into daily life. Moving forward we can see a wide range of possibilities for what apps might be able to do, but what cannot be predicted is how the spinoffs of these major ideas continue to push further advancements, and how users respond—and how this evolving mosaic creates the framework for the next generation of ideas.”

Tom Roe, the senior account manager for a large staffing organization and the owner of a mobile technology start-up, responded, “Mobile technology will continue to become the norm in all aspects of life, from banking to employment, to personal matters.”

Dale Richart, a marketing and advertising client liaison responded, “I see a need for apps that are uniquely customizable to our needs. Collective apps that will do more of what we need quicker and easier. Apps that accurately predict what new features we want and are ready for.”

Mary Rodgers, an executive with a kitchen equipment manufacturer and distributor wrote, “It is only logical that as consumers and businesses use more bandwidth, more needs to be readily available at a low cost.”

Sarah Houghton, director of the San Rafael, California Public Library, wrote, “It is asinine to think that there will be no new distinctive tech apps in the next eleven years. Think about what we’ve seen in the last 11!

Janie Pickett, a teacher and information science professional, wrote, “The exponential growth in what we can do through technology, brought to the personal and pragmatic level as ‘apps,’ will continue to grow through innovation and advancement, all dependent on electricity and increasing infrastructure (i.e. bandwidth).”

Brian Newby, an election commissioner in Kansas, wrote, “Arguably, there hasn’t been one yet. Downloading of movies is the closest thing, but email has really only been the killer app.”

Kevin Reillya, simulation technologist for Samuel Merritt University Health Sciences Simulation Center and doctoral candidate in educational technologies, wrote, “The availability of increased capacity will encourage the promotion of more visually-laden media such as video and multi-dimensional formats.”

Judith Perrolle, a professor at Northeastern University, based in Boston, wrote, “Texting and tweeting will be replaced by 3D video, “face-to-face” communications that are not limited to two participants. People will regain the use of their thumbs for other purposes, as they experience the electronic co-presence of their family, friends, co-workers, boss, merchants, advertisers, spammers, stalkers, and government surveillance personnel. Dissident groups will experiment with coded text messages in the scenery and musical backgrounds. The Internet of things will take an ugly turn as hackers, cyber security swat teams, advertisers, and terrorists run amok through citizens’ and nations’ refrigerators, heating systems, power grids, and pacemakers. A sub-specialty of lawyers will arise to deal with Internet-connected objects’ product liability, in turn giving rise to laws absolving manufacturers of fault. Problems with rogue nanobots and genetically engineered diseases will dwarf concerns about the Internet. The monopolization of the world’s food and fresh water resources by a small group of countries will lead to the first war of nation states against corporations. Renewable energy resources will be nearly universal; sustainable manufacturing and life styles will be the norm.”

Thorlaug Agustsdottir, public relations manager for the Icelandic Pirate Party, wrote, “There are big things coming.”

David Golumbia, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, commented, “I don’t see how it could be remotely credible to answer ‘no’ to this question.”

Annie Pettit, chief research officer at Peanut Labs, responded, “I have no idea what the killer apps might be, but perhaps those that take advantage of speed. Massive image and video files transferred, opened, viewed, edited, saved, all at near-instant speed.”

Amy Crook, an assistant in the IT department of a large public accounting firm, responded, “I don’t know what these tools will be, and can’t imagine the new immersive experiences that await us. If I knew how to dream up the next big thing, wouldn’t I be lucky?”

Sam Moreland, a mechanical engineer, commented, “Yes, but I have no idea what they will be. In general, the availability of higher bandwidth will allow for much easier individual connectivity, making it much easier to work or be schooled from home.”

Meg Houston Maker, writer, editorial strategist, and private consultant responded, “We’ll all become broadcasters, posting not just thin slices of experience in the form of photos or text updates, but rich multimedia experiences in high-resolution video and audio.”

Susan Barnum, a librarian, wrote, “Since we are getting to the point where we can stimulate neurons in the brain to alleviate depression, affect memories, and so on, I imagine that we may use new technology to directly amplify the brain. Might be cool. I also think that we’ll be able to trawl through larger amounts of information more easily, something that as a librarian, I would love to see. Google doesn’t cut it, despite what some politicians think.”

Gloria Franco, New York University School of Medicine, commented, “There probably will be, but we need our bandwidth to increase and compete with the rest of the world.”

Lisa Dangutis, webmaster for The Sunshine Environment Link, responded, “More gigs please. People want faster, better media experiences that come with the capitalization of bandwidth. Experiences may include 3D-skype media, easier, faster relationships to visual graphing. High visual media plotting is also another possibility (3D graphing on mega-data projects or analytics). An app for tracking 3D change in the stock market could be feasible with more bandwidth and gigabit connectivity. For killer apps, the world is the oyster when it comes to gigabits. 3D GPS could be another killer app. The world is the oyster on such technology.”

John G. McNutt, a professor at the University of Delaware, commented, “The delivery of physical goods by a combination of higher bandwidth and 3D printing.”

Danny Gillane, information science professional, commented, “If there is a digital divide now, it will still exist in 2025. The divide’s existence will be magnified by the new killer apps—who has access and who does not, beneficiaries and those left out. However, I believe that increased bandwidth and new compression technologies will just allow for more of the same as we have today—more entertainment, more commercial activities, more and better communications.”

Rex Cornelius, retired Information science professional, wrote, “Application development since the 1990s has been driven by use of devices for entertainment. I can imagine further development, but not a new distinctive use for bandwidth.”

Carol Foreman, an information science professional, commented, “First, I am not so sure that bandwidth increase is the problem here. Isn’t latency the real issue? If latency or round-trip time is not improved, at great expense, will we still be dreaming of great apps to help us with our health, money and entertainment?”

Tim Mallory, information science professional, responded, “Just faster speeds will occur, possibly by multiplexing bandwidth paths. It will seem new, but it will all still be ones and zeroes. A real breakthrough would be to find a replacement for binary code. Experimental science and information theory, though, predict that one “bit” is the smallest information quantum. This does apply to sequential media—but what about analog and quantum processes?”

Amy No, information science professional, responded, “If you look back at the history of technology, things are normally incremental in development. Even the Internet was around, but it took browsers to make it usable for the general public and even these had to develop for general usage. I believe that killer apps will just sneak up on us and we can look back and say historically they were there, but not as we are living it.”

Michael Starks, information science professional wrote, “Not in the United States. In countries where bandwidth is already greater and growing faster than bandwidth in the United States, yes, we will see major technology developments that take advantage of that greater bandwidth. That, in turn, may finally prompt the United States to increase bandwidth, but only if American households demand it, have the purchasing power, and digital literacy to take advantage of the new applications.”

Virginia Bird, director of New River Public Library Cooperative, wrote, “Still waiting for gigabit connections in rural America. Companies don’t want to spend the money on infrastructure to serve few people. There might be killer apps but reach will be limited.”

Mike Caprio, software engineer for a consulting firm, responded, “There will be no significant increases in bandwidth in the United States between now and 2025 if the current state of affairs is not completely disrupted. The monopolistic corporate oligarchies of telecommunications providers will not allow it.”

Kate T., a self-employed Web designer/developer and writer, responded, “I believe there will come a time when bandwidth is increased significantly across the United States, but I don’t think it will be by 2025. Comcast, Time Warner, and AT&T have a stranglehold on Internet services here. A few people are still on dial-up or incredibly slow Internet ‘high’ speeds now, as it is. In cities, there will be more options and likely free WiFi across whole areas, but rural places will be years and years behind this. As with a lot of what I imagine happening in the future, this will increase inequality.”

Bob K., a demographer and sociologist employed by the US federal government, wrote, “Uniquely new? No, because there is already too much potential application in place that has tons of exploitability still to happen. This is all to a large extent, market-driven. Not everyone has a computer, phone, or tablet. Someday they will. So, this becomes very large change, but incrementally for the entire population. It is tantamount to somehow increasing the nutritional value of all food on earth—everyone would benefit immensely, but in many small daily ways. From the data/bandwidth perspective, it’s likely that eventually most entertainment access will be through the web, in whatever incarnation exists at that moment. So obviously that has big implications for personal entertainment activities, but that’s not really uniquely new, it’s just the extension of what is already happening.”

Carla Schober, a respondent who did not share a professional background, predicted, “We will see an increase in useful medical apps—something that will interface with hospital records, a personal food and exercise diary, and add-on devices like blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure monitors [and this will be here a lot sooner than 2025]. I also think that removable media will be a thing of the past and everything will be stored in the cloud to be available for streaming. [Again, this will happen much sooner than 2025.] As fuel prices rise, we will see a larger percentage of office jobs become work-from-home or otherwise decentralized; this will mean creating a visual interface beyond the standard FaceTime or conference call app. Perhaps some sort of virtual workspace?”

Trudy Schuett, chair of the Regional Council on Aging for Western Arizona commented, “The emphasis on making everything smaller may finally be recognized as not always a good thing. I think we can look forward to more practical applications of communications devices that are easier to use, not just for the general public, but also for those with disabilities.”

Tim Kambitsch, a self-described activist Internet user wrote, “Content access will be effortless if the content can be found. With the explosion of new content escalating at a rapid pace, the strategies for identifying what is worth viewing, reading, and listening to will be more important than any future increase in bandwidth. The digital divide will shift from those with or without bandwidth to those with our without the capacity to navigate and acquire the right content. The cost of content is a part of the equation so copyright and intellectual property rights may be the defining difference.”

Kit Kellera, librarian researcher and consultant, wrote, “I can’t say what, but having watched transformations in education (to online), libraries (also online and digital), and personal interactions (social media), I have no doubt that there will be at least one killer app that will significantly impact the way we live, work, and learn.”

Walter Minkel, information science professional, commented, “I’ve been waiting for interactive entertainment—a true hybrid of games and films—for years, which will require lots of bandwidth. It will be like the old Choose Your Own Adventure kids’ books of years past, but in stereo sound and 3D. You will take a story ‘shell,’ customize it to your needs, turn yourself into any character in the story you wish, and once immersed in an environment you choose, guide the tale as it unfolds. You can choose to guide the tale to end just as you want, or see what happens when you set the pieces up and let it play itself out.”

Ian Rumbles, a technology developer and administrator, wrote, “One of the challenges that still exists is access to reliable high-speed wherever you go. So possibly it is an infrastructure change that will really explode the use of technology and the new apps.”

Roy Rodriq, a system administrator at Maricopa Community College in Phoenix, Arizona, wrote, “Resources and the catch all phrase are a just hype to what is actually occurring. A shift in mentality towards an act, thing, or person able to manipulate the reality of a first-world economy. There has been a ripple effect towards the developing areas but influences should be considered from other parts of the world.”

Thomas Lenzo, a self-employed consultant in the areas of training, technology, and security, wrote, “I don’t see any killer apps. I do see modifications and improvements of the various apps we now have or that are in development.”

Patty Ash, a retired research analyst and senior editor, wrote, “The sky is the limit, so increases in bandwidth will permit and enable such technology applications.”

Micky Hingorani, program manager at AVAC, which does global advocacy for HIV prevention, wrote, “If I knew, I’d be working on it right now.”

Giuseppe Pennisi, an employee of the Economic and Social Council of the Republic of Italy, responded, “There will be change if innovation is geared to driving externalities and interdependence and reaching high economic and social returns,”

Susan Right, information science professional based in Colorado, wrote, “Those apps are being created that if you have the resources you can expand your bandwidth. App development is a huge market, full of creative people. Those people will still be there.”

Mike Ribble, responded, “We have seen exponential growth in technology in the past decade. I think that in the next ten years that this will double on itself. The apps will continue to bring tools to users to make their life easier as well as to entertain. The need to have connectivity everywhere will be required as we will use the tools in every aspect of our lives. The trick will be on how to balance the technology and other aspects of our lives.”

Richard James, an information science professional, wrote, “Personal security systems based on real-time monitoring of your vital statistics, location, environment, and visual input via Glass-like applications.”

Patrick Stack, manager of the Digital Transformation Acquity Group, wrote, “The ‘killer apps’ will be less about increased bandwidth capability and more about increased short-range capabilities. Common data formats will be developed to allow phones, kiosks, displays, and other physical items to interact with each other and process experiences accordingly. It will be less about data-heavy applications and more about ever-present software and processing between the physical and digital worlds.”

Stuart Chittenden, the founder of the conversation consultancy Squishtalks, wrote, “Streaming of mass data, including holograms and shared sensory experiences of audience events, instant multi-person participation, etc.”

Brittany Smith, a respondent who did not share a professional background, predicted, “Immersive and personalized media experiences will be the way of the near future. As wearable technology becomes more widely available people will be able to interact with their environments to find, access, and engage with information in new ways.”

Beth Bush, the senior vice president for a major healthcare professional association, wrote, “Eleven years of innovation! There will be some incredible advances—healthcare, entertainment, convenience driven.”

Andrew D. Pritchard, a lawyer, PhD candidate, and instructor in media-and-society issues at North Dakota State University, wrote, “If I knew what the ‘next big thing’ would be, I would be inventing it myself and reaping the rewards! Increases in bandwidth and processing power also increase the number of different types of information an app can integrate into a single interaction, approaching the complexity of the pro-and-con balancing of human decision-making. Thus, it seems likely that the next ten years will bring increasing numbers of apps that make decisions on behalf of their users rather than merely provide requested factual information. (As one illustration, consider how quickly interactive mapping applications progressed from simply showing the location of an address to determining the best way to get there.)”

Bryan Padgett, a research systems manager for a major US entertainment company, replied, “While I think the emergence of full video (TV, online video, videocalls, etc.) on mobile devices will become common, I think the well-established players will be the ones who bring that content to us. I think we will see a complete convergence of phone, mobile, television, Internet, security, and home automation since almost all will be delivered with data networks. We will become accustomed to paying for water, power, and data as ‘standard’ costs of living, dropping separate companies and eliminating the need to pay separate companies and services. I also think we will see more devices connected but not necessarily needing to send massive amounts of data. Home automation will be as common as air conditioning for most locations. For instance, my washing machine may need to communicate with my home automation system so it can run when I scheduled it, but it will not need gigabytes to do that.”

Karen Riggs, a professor of media arts at Ohio University, responded, “Time and space have been, as we have known it, collapsed in the Internet age. More powerful networks of information flow and tools developed by creative individuals (many in the corporate sector) will create a far more directly networked planet. This does not suggest that power will become equally shared, because powerful corporate and governmental ‘digital haves’ will strive to dominate these channels. Power, however, will not be static and will create new opportunities, as we see now with the growing Internet capacities of China and Google. Positively, human relationships can be positively affected through advances, with the prospect of personal presence far exceeding the technical capacity of Skype and the social practice of Internet dating, for example. I am not a technologist, but it is obvious that ICT advances are careening toward the immersive and transformative. As usual, creative tensions will be at work between those who introduce and initially control implementation of technologies and those who constitute the users, who historically have adapted technologies for their own purposes and in the result have altered design itself.”

Carol Wolinsky, a self-employed marketing research consultant, wrote, “Investment in fiber to the home is declining in the United States as the major cable and telecom providers pull back on new installations. Unless the United States changes its rules and laws about investment in communications and regulation of the industry, change will be slow and incremental. Asian countries will be much more advanced, as several of them have much higher bandwidth services already.”

Arthur Asa Berger, a professor emeritus of communication at San Francisco State University responded, “Who could have anticipated the changes that the smart phones and tablets have made to our lives and our societies? And now we have smart watches and soon may have chips inserted into our bodies to monitor our health and do certain things for us.”

Russell Bailey, the director of the library at Providence College, wrote, “While it is difficult to suggest precise ‘killer apps,’ I suspect that they will involve senses beyond visual and sound, e.g., smell and touch, and probably become subliminally more effective.”

Jamie LaRue, a writer, speaker, and consultant on library, technology, and public sector issues wrote, “The likeliest result is an extrapolation of video games and 3D films. Something approaching full sensory environments should begin to be common; introduced to wearable (or physically embedded) technology, this could result in a few richer interaction with remote sites. For instance, someone could be driving the Mars Rover in real time, or doing deep sea exploration. More likely, it will be used to meet up with one’s friends and go virtual shopping.”

To read full official survey analysis, please click here.

To read anonymous responses to the report, please click here.