Technology over the past 50 years has played a significant role in our lives, but the next 20 years will see technology-driven change that will dwarf what we have witnessed to date.

Technology is set to change the human experience in some truly significant ways. We are moving towards having the ability to be anywhere at any time.

Our relationship with the technology itself is changing. The last quarter of the 20th Century was the ‘age of the geek’ – you had to understand the technology in order to use it. But in the first 25 years of this century technology is adapting itself to people so that anyone can use it. The interaction with the technology is becoming seamless and invisible but the impact is growing rapidly.

Our ever-increasing ability to measure the world around us (and the world inside our bodies) and communicate those measurements to vast cloud data centres, is changing the way we interact with the real world. Because we can measure the world, we can analyse it and because we can analyse it we may be able to control it.

Day by day technology is becoming smarter, faster, smaller and even more ubiquitous. The machines we create are increasingly capable of performing complex human tasks. Soon you will be able to have your own personal cardiologist monitoring your heart health 24 hours a day, seven days a week – even if you are perfectly healthy.

The pace and scale of technological change means this is becoming perfectly feasible and can take place wherever you are. These changes will open up huge opportunities for businesses in regional Australia to be more efficient and productive, as well as being more resilient and adaptable. Change also brings opportunity for communities to be healthier, happier and more in control of their lives and circumstances.

This White Paper is just a glimpse of some of the things Telstra, in collaboration with companies like Ericsson and organisations like the University of NSW (UNSW), is researching and developing today to make regional Australia’s tomorrow even better.

Dr Hugh Bradlow, Chief Scientist, Telstra

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