WEB 3.0 –The Changing Technological and Communication Landscape
A revolution is coming… again… in the form of Web 3.0. So what is this all about and what do you it mean for me I hear you ask.
Well, the line dividing the digital and physical world is rapidly diminishing. As a result, us ‘humans’ will very soon be interacting with more dynamic, meaningful and rich data. Previously, people were engaging with a single-layered, one-dimensional data which provided a very limited and similar experience for everyone. However, in recent years, the world around us became more interactive and multi-layered, hence giving us a new ‘magical’ connection. Considering the speed with which the digital world is evolving, it’s a matter of a few years when it will take a shape of something beyond our imagination. And that can be described as; The Spatial Web or Web 3.0.
The Spatial Web will enormously transform the way we connect to the world. Today we are sharing information and are connecting across the globe in a two-dimensional environment. The World Wide Web is our exclusive platform for work, entertainment and social interaction. However, this is possible only when we are connected online.
The Spatial Web will merge the offline and online environments. It will allow us to take control of the data we share and this will simply transform every aspect of our life; the way we shop, advertise, communicate and entertain. The 4G and 5G networks, the billions of devices connected and artificial intelligence will let users control data and program the virtual world. Let us look into what our web was serving previously, how it evolved and changed the definition of human communication today, what Web 3.0/Spatial Web is and compare it with our current situation.
At the time of the conception of the World Wide Web in the 1980s, there was a unified system of data sharing. Dial-up connections were used with bulky modems and painfully slow speeds. The data was primarily in the form of read-only files. In a nutshell, everything was quite non-interactive. The arrival of Web 2.0 introduced the term ‘Global Village.’ It whisked the system of information sharing and interactions and today’s era saw the unprecedented level of technological growth. Today there are numerous social networking sites, blogs, professional websites where people exchange endless amounts of information. From sharing personal profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. to working together and sharing professional bios on platforms like LinkedIn or UpWork, the opportunities are endless, the possibilities are vast and distances have no meaning in today’s digital world.
The Spatial Web will, however, stir things up in the near future. With the help of virtual reality gadgets, users will be able to interface huge amounts of visual data. It will combine the physical and virtual world in a three-dimensional space. Blockchain and edge computing will speed up everything providing more information and services navigable through AI agents. It will introduce a new era of sophisticated web technologies:
• Spatial computing technology
• Physical computing technology
• Decentralised computing
It can be foreseen that the use of smartphones and laptops will gradually diminish in the future and will be taken over by VR gear, smart glasses, and the IoT (Internet of Things). Almost every aspect of our physical environment will be aided by artificial intelligence.
For instance, in the movie “Ready Player One”, users invest in smart properties and do business in property in the virtual environment.
This suggests that in a possible future, every single structure or building in the physical world will have an enhanced version in the fictional virtual world.
Let’s now understand how this works. During the days of Web 1.0, a piece of information was entered in the database which then displayed the required data on the screen. Later, this data was shifted to servers. People started using browsers like Mozilla for connections and later the various apps on cloud allowed data to be interfaced on smart devices. In addition to the read-only files, the users started interacting with verbal data through Siri or Alexa. It allowed devices to read gestures, voice, and facial features. With virtual and physical environments converging, soon people will be able to insert digital content in real worlds. For example, IKEA allows customers to virtually place furniture in their real homes creating an amalgam of digital and physical data.
Web 3.0 would function by using AI as a link to access authorised data through blockchain. It would then display the information generated on VR devices and other wearables for user’s access. In order to build a smart infrastructure to transfer data packets, an address will be required just like we have domains and IP today. Some programmers are already trying to convert the current two-dimensional web system to three dimensional AR and VR operable space with a linkable address by using languages parallel to HTML. In this way, Spatial Web would allow us to share data within a defined grid just like users are able to access information in a particular space once they have its URL.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), it is estimated that the VR gear market will rise above 81 million units per year in 2021. Tech companies and mobile giants are investing huge sums in VR/AR gadgets enabling 2 billion wearables within next year. HTC is onto the release of its VIVE Focus and Facebook is also geared towards its Project Santa Cruz. To create the virtual world, a massive increase in connection speeds will be provided by 5G. In the next few years, with such tremendous technological leaps and catapulting speeds, we will be able to create VR. Additionally, the users will gain greater control over data sharing and will be able to interface independently with the network through web applications and blockchain.
Consequently, the Spatial Web/Web 3.0 will transform every aspect of our everyday life; how people interact, work, socialise, do business, educate and entertain. The use of virtual space will increase which will influence our livelihoods and even our decisions.
So watch this virtual space for developments, it’s going to move faster that you might think.