WHAT WILL TOMORROW be like? Today’s innovators and dreamers think there is nothing we can’t do. There are no insurmountable obstacles. We just have to be creative and figure out a way to do the impossible.

Today, we’re waiting breathlessly for the fifth generation (5G) revolution. We’re told the future with 5G will give us things far beyond what 4G gave us. 5G will blow our socks off. The engineers are inventing it as they go and they still have major problems to solve. When they do figure it out, it will change everything and it will change the way we live.

But here’s the kicker. While 5G is being rolled out, global telecommunications powerhouses are already thinking about the sixth generation (6G) of wireless technology. Nobody knows what 6G will do for sure, but it’s got to happen because the bandwidth and speed needed to support far more production by unmanned, cloud-connected machines will demand it.

A former head of NASA was on TV recently and he said the geniuses in Asia, namely China, Japan and South Korea, have a commanding lead over American engineers and if America doesn’t catch up, Asia will dominate the future. If all goes as planned, it will take about a decade for 6G to be ready for consumers. This could be a major turning point in world economic dominance, he said.

For me, at my age, I just want the simple things. I don’t remember life 30 years ago being this stressful. There were things that were possible and there were things that, well, we couldn’t imagine. Today, we won’t accept the fact that some things are just not possible.

Back in the day, we didn’t know what we didn’t know. People seemed happier. We didn’t need to have everything right then to be satisfied with life. Today, we’ve got to have the next generation of things now. We’re constantly looking for the next best thing.

How did we survive 30 or 40 years ago without the internet, social media, zero interest rates, GPS, 500 TV channels, instant gratification, 4,000-square-foot homes, online billing and direct deposit, Facebook, Instagram, dating services and coffee shops on every street corner?

6G will allow advances on the roads, in hospitals and factories. The world’s best minds will have to solve extraordinary puzzles to make 6G a reality. Not to fear, companies are already developing technology to be included in the next generation of the unbelievable.

Instead of them working on future puzzles, they should be working to solve today’s enigmas. We still have dropped phone calls, streets with potholes, weather-caused satellite outages and climate change disasters waiting to happen.

Will 5G or 6G make the world perfect? Will it eliminate inequality, racism, sexism, poverty, cancer, food shortages, the homeless crisis, clean water shortages, hatred, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, drug addiction, suicides or mental health issues?

While 5G is a modern marvel, with a maximum data transfer speed of about 10 GB per second, it pales in comparison with what 6G will be able to do. 6G will be needed for the fulfillment of the potential of autonomous vehicles. 5G is expected to reach frequencies of around 30 gigahertz to 50 gigahertz. Engineers expect 6G to be carried on frequencies exceeding 100 gigahertz.

For autonomous vehicles, 5G is too slow for the back-and-forth computer analysis required when traveling 70 mph in a vehicle on a busy highway. You don’t have seven seconds for a computer network to decide what to do. Faster speeds are needed to carry data over long distances and through physical obstacles.

Transmitting more data at faster speeds also requires extra energy. A major hurdle for engineers will be finding ways for 6G to handle that added burden without overheating and do it reliably. Remember, they don’t think anything is impossible. The answer just hasn’t been found yet.