By bringing together the visions of the future once relegated to the realms of science fiction, the spatial web will transform the internet.
The visions of the future imagined in science fiction depict worlds where advanced technology seamlessly merges the virtual and physical to project people into immersive and interactive experiences. Innovations like intelligent robots, holograms, and virtual avatars have long been staples of the genre. Now, thanks to the rise of Web 3.0, they’re becoming a reality.
From static web pages to fully immersive experiences
In the 90s, the first iteration of the web transformed the world of business, and society at large, by enabling us to access a wealth of information from static web pages. Then, during the early 2000s, Web 2.0 enriched the experience with the rise of user-generated content and greater interactivity in the form of social media and personalized online shopping experiences.
Web 3.0 presents the next sea change, and it’s set to the biggest and most profound one yet. It’s a digital world in which everything is connected all the time thanks to mobile technologies augmented by things like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and lightning-fast 5G networks. From smart watches that monitor vital signs to sensors that monitor stock levels on warehouse shelves to augmented reality glasses that guide technicians through maintenance routines, the possibilities are practically endless.
One of the defining characteristics of Web 3.0 is the fact that it exists across three dimensions. For this reason, it might also be referred to as the spatial web. With the rise of the spatial web, no longer will we consume digital information and services exclusively through a flat screen or smartphone. Instead, we will engage with the web via virtual and augmented reality, smart sensors, and interconnected networks that blend the physical and virtual realms. Ultimately, Web 3.0 will be the crossroads of these emerging technologies we already know today.
Bringing data to life with artificial intelligence and machine learning
From personalized e-commerce experiences to preventative maintenance in manufacturing, more and more of what we do is based on data. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are among the technologies bringing that data to life by turning it into actionable insights. After all, given that our digital activities are expected to generate and consume almost 100 zettabytes of data in 2022 alone, manual analysis is hardly feasible! Today, AI is already well-established as a way to address challenges like discovery, matching, and filtering. For example, discovering which content we want to see was relatively easy when we just had a handful of TV channels with preset broadcasting. Now, we have AI to help us navigate the huge volume of content and products online with personalized recommendations. Similarly, matchmaking systems can connect us to the people and services we’re most likely to be interested in based on our past activities. AI-based filtering, on the other hand, can help keep us safe from potentially harmful content, such as fake news and malicious software.
“In a Web 3.0 world, AI will continue to evolve to radically change the way people interact with machines.”
We will witness the merging of virtual reality and AI, where AI will augment virtual environments with levels of insight and perception comparable to those of a responsive being. The implications of such a synthesis are profound indeed. In the travel and tourism industry, for example, VR might give people an immersive introduction of a resort, while AI automates the booking of hotels and flights. In commerce, AI will help shoppers discover products likely to interest them, while VR will give them the opportunity to experience them in an immersive 3D environment. The possibilities are practically endless. The merging of technologies like AI and VR is one of the primary characteristics of the spatial web, and it’s not only the world of entertainment and consumerism that it will change. Web 3.0 will also change the way goods are manufactured and delivered and even the way that critical infrastructure is operated. For example, AR glasses, augmented by AI assistants, can guide and train workers operating hazardous machinery or medical professionals through complex operations.
From the internet of things to the internet of everything
When Arpanet, the predecessor of the internet, was founded in 1969, it consisted of four nodes situated in the western US. By the end of 2021, there were 12.2 billion devices connected to the internet. Driven by the rise of 5G mobile technologies and edge computing, that figure is expected to double in the next two years.
As the internet transitioned from Web 1.0 to 2.0, the meteoric rise of a handful of major social media companies and other technology companies started capitalizing on surveillance and centralization. The distributed, and admittedly chaotic, spirit of the earlier web dwindled as a result. However, another characteristic of Web 3.0 is that it gives us the opportunity to create a decentralized web that’s more akin to what Tim Berners Lee envisaged when he invented the Web in 1989.
This iteration of the web, a global electronic commons, will make extensive use of technologies like blockchain for secure transactions and edge computing for bringing data processing back to its source. People, processes, and things will all become connected, along with countless virtual spaces and objects. That’s why it’s important that we look at the bigger picture which is the Internet of Everything.
Web 3.0 is central to the Internet of Everything; an environment where the physical and virtual and people and machines work alongside one another. There is no denying the opportunities (and challenges) that these developments will bring to the business world, as well as society as a whole. However, those that don’t pay attention to one of the most profound technological advancements of modern times take the very real risk of going the same way as Blockbuster or Kodak – companies that failed to innovate.
Verses Technologies imagines a smarter world, empowered by context-away applications that bridge the divide between virtual and physical systems. Their next-generation AI operating system makes it easier than ever to develop intelligent applications for practically any use case. Follow this link to find out more on how they are disrupting logistics and positioning to be the first mover in the spatial web!