Imagine a new kind of internet where all the content you consume is more personalized for you than ever before and fully understands everything you say, whether it be through text, voice, or other media.
A new stage of the web's evolution is about to begin. Early adopters have dubbed it Web 3.0.
There may be a few early-stage Web 3.0 applications presently available, but their full potential cannot be realized until the new internet is fully integrated into the web infrastructure.
What is Web 3.0?
The third generation of web technologies is known as Web 3.0 (also called Web3).
The Semantic Web has been mostly used to define Web 3.0 in early definitions.
The Semantic Web proposed that the content we read on the web would become contextual—that the intended meaning of words or phrases might be made explicit and so "semantic."
Encoding the contextual meaning of a word into the text of a web page would allow both the text and, eventually, the Web to become "smart."
The smart web would recognize, for example, that a particular reference to the word "greenhouse" on a site dominated by discussions of how to produce healthy plants and vegetables indoors would be a reference to a glass building full of plants rather than a house painted a shade of green.
It was a brilliant idea, but it was simply too challenging to reverse engineer a powerful new layer of intelligence into the web.
Beyond this technicality, what if the concept of a Semantic Web's fault isn't in the scope of its goal, but rather in its narrow focus?
In Web 3.0, the domain of what can become smart, contextual, and thus "semantic" will not be restricted to text but will be extended into the physical world itself, where spatial objects, environments, and interactions abound.
Web 3.0 will be a semantic web, but not because we have integrated intelligence into text. It will be semantic because 3D spatial intelligence will be embedded in everything.
Many contemporary definitions of Web 3.0 suffer from industry-centric myopia and lack holistic thinking.
Web 3.0, for example, will not be restricted to being a cryptocurrency-driven, peer-to-peer "Internet of Value," as many Blockchain enthusiasts insist, or an "Internet of Intelligence," powered by a network of (hopefully) friendly AI, as the Artificial Intelligentsia suggest.
It will not only be the trillion-device "Internet of Things (IoT)," as Industry 4.0 enthusiasts argue, or the "Internet of Me," where various wearables and ingestibles will be able to detect every pulse, personalize every meal, and optimize every step, emotional state, and, eventually, thought.
It won't even be the long-foretold 3D Internet of interconnected worlds, a Virtual Reality (VR) "Metaverse" or VR Cloud, or its more recent equivalent, the Augmented Reality (AR) Cloud and its "Internet of Places," as the pioneers of spatial computing may think.
Web 3.0 will not be restricted to any of these definitions because it encompasses all of them in this next era of the web. All of them are "linked" into the Internet of Everything in Web 3.0.
Who coined the term Web 3.0?
In 2014, computer scientist Gavin Wood coined the term "Web 3.0," outlining his predictions for the development of the internet.
Web 3.0, in Wood's opinion, is a more decentralized and democratic version of the current internet.
“Web3 is really sort of an alternative vision of the web, where the services that we use are not hosted by a single service provider company, but rather they’re sort of purely algorithmic things that are, in some sense, hosted by everybody. So, it’s very peer to peer, right? ... The idea being that all participants sort of contribute a small slice of the ultimate service,” Wood said when he was a guest speaker in CNBC's podcast.
“And thus, no one really has any advantage over anyone else ... not in the same sense, at least as, when you, for example, go to Amazon or you go to eBay or Facebook, where the company behind the service really has absolute power over what it is that they do in providing the service.”
The Web 3.0 Stack Overview
The Web 3.0 era will be characterized by an integrated "stack" of computing technologies known in classic computer science as a three-tier architecture, which consists of Interface, Logic, and Data Tiers.
The three Web 3.0 tiers are made up of these four computing trends.
Interface Tier: Spatial
Computing that happens in a spatial environment, usually with special peripherals such as AR or VR headsets, smart glasses, and haptic devices used to see, gesture, and touch digital content and objects.
Spatial Computing enables us to interact with computers in the most natural, intuitive ways that are most compatible with our biology and physiology.
Interface Tier: Physical
Computing integrated in objects such as sensors, wearables, robotics, and other IoT devices.
This allows computers to see, hear, feel, smell, touch, and move objects in the real world.
Physical computing will enable humans to interact with computers all over the world, receive information, and even send "actions" into environments.
Logic Tier: Cognitive
It allows for the automation, simulation, and optimization of activities, operations, and processes ranging from factory production to self-driving cars, as well as augmenting and assisting in human decision making.
Data Tier: Distributed
Computing that is shared across and between numerous devices that each contribute to a portion of the computer processing, such as edge and mesh computing, or computer storage like blockchains and distributed ledgers. Generally speaking, this offers improved quality, speed, security, and trust for the enormous amounts of data storage and processing needed for the Spatial Web.
Features and Benefits of Web 3.0
Identity in the Spatial Web
- The Future of Identity
Each individual should have the choice as to what information about themselves is included in an online profile, as well as control over who has access to different parts of it and how it might be used.
The ability to control one's online identity should be preserved.
- A Universal Shift in Perspective
Blockchain technology has the potential to change digital identity by returning ownership of personal data from governments and companies to individuals, allowing individuals to share and revoke their data as a human right.
- Trust in Math
People are able to trust that the data they use can be validated through decentralized mechanisms when data ownership is allowed to shift back from corporations and governments to individuals.
Organizations and governments can also trust that they have lessened their own exposure to liability and risk associated with storing such sensitive personal data.
- Interoperable ID
A digital identity system for the twenty-first century must generate global identities that cross international and virtual boundaries while maintaining user autonomy.
Global identities can then continue to be accessible thanks to persistence and autonomy.
These markers do not, of course, only apply to people. Any and all persons, locations, and things — physical or virtual—can benefit from them.
Digital Property Rights
The Spatial Web allows people to apply the same ownership principles that we have established in the physical world (for example, owning land on which a house is built or owning a physical item to digital representations of themselves, their personal data, and 3D digital objects).
Thus, digital information about our identities, avatars, virtual spaces, and digital assets, including all of their interactions, transactions, contractual rights, and location history, is considered to be digital property.
Physical or digital assets can be divided into fractional ownership when they are tokenized via a Distributed Ledger.
- Smart Property
The ability to search, view, interact, transact, track, and transport an item within or between Smart Spaces can be governed by Smart Contracts.
Detailed information such as relative coordinates, position, and orientation from which a Smart Asset can be viewed can all be specified.
Smart Assets have accurate audit trails of who owns them, where they are located, and what usage rules are allowed "within" the Asset.
- “Real” Ownership of Digital Things
A Smart Asset belongs to the person who purchases it.
The ownership is totally independent of the store where it was purchased, just like physical goods.
You can own a Smart Asset indefinitely and nobody can take it from you.
- Digital Scarcity (The Double Spend Problem)
Blockchains show precisely how many copies of an asset exist or could be issued in the future.
Blockchain-based property makes issuance rules transparent, eliminating the need to trust the issuer and offering absolute confidence in issuance data and Digital Scarcity.
- Digital Provenance
Provenance is a term used in the fine art field to describe the documented evidence used to verify that a work of art has not been altered, fabricated, reproduced, or stolen.
The Spatial Web can now automatically provide provenance to digital assets and spaces for the emerging digital economy using the VERSES blockchain-based asset registries.
- Transferability and Transportability
The ability to transfer asset ownership between parties is made possible by digital asset provenance.
Assets can be moved between locations thanks to Spatial Domain provenance.
Users are able to transfer their assets and themselves between physical and virtual locations thanks to User Identity provenance.
This implies that a hyperspace link can let an object or user "hyperport" to or from a virtual location, like in the Ready Player One movie.
Similar to how Postmates or Uber operate now, Spatial Contracts can make it possible for persons or goods to be transported in the real world.
You can basically transfer ownership and location by having universal identifiers and addressability for any person, place, and thing.
- Spatial Property Rights
With Spatial Domains, the holder has absolute control over how their space is used digitally, including who may access it, what can be displayed, and when it can be sold.
The power to control who and what can access our spaces, what content can be displayed, and even how and where transactions can be conducted, might make Spatial Property rights the most significant property right in history as more and more of the world is digitized.
What are some examples of Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 has a strong technology foundation. The potential for technology that is semi-autonomous and simple to incorporate anywhere in the world is highly likely.
The technology is still in its infancy. But the examples that follow show just how much this new approach to Web technology is capable of.
How do you make the perfect apple pie? Simply ask Apple's Siri for instructions, and it will provide them.
The iPhone has included this clever Web 3.0 application. Siri demonstrates how far Web 3.0 has come.
"I don't know" used to be Siri's go-to response. Today, though, Siri is frequently able to provide thorough responses.
Siri even sometimes shows some personality and wit.
A good example of artificial intelligence and machine learning applied to distributed systems is Wolfram Alpha.
In order to analyze data and reply to enquiries, it makes use of tens of thousands of computers. If users simply list an item, such a pear, they will receive a multitude of data like nutritional facts.
To get a precise response, though, a user might also ask the system about the amount of vitamin C in a pear. This is because it is able to comprehend the language.
Web 3.0's response to online storage is Filecoin. Many consider it to be a step above Google Drive, Dropbox, and Amazon AWS.
Similar to those services, users of Filecoin can store data. However, Filecoin operates on the decentralized model introduced by Web 3.0.
This contributes to more reliable encryption. The absence of a centralized institution also removes a single point of vulnerability that hackers can exploit.
Additionally, it integrates with modern technologies like IoT.
On mobile devices, Brave Browser offers a new and secure method of browsing the web. It aspires to be the most secure browser ever created.
Using highly distributed blockchain technologies helps to achieve the protection. This will thwart attempts by malicious parties to take control of the browser and use it to access cryptocurrency.
However, it also makes sure that this distributed Web 3.0-related system is capable of providing the most cutting-edge and modern level of privacy protection.
How will Web 3.0 impact businesses?
With Web 3.0's exponential increase of interconnectivity, innovative businesses will be able to increase value through the network effect (Metcalfe's Law).
The concept of the network effect states that as a product or service is used by more people, its value rises.
More content, information, and services will be generated as more people have access to the internet. The development and innovation of enterprises with Web 3.0 will encourage more users to interact and do business with one another.
As the Web's traffic increases, it will provide greater value, resulting in a network effect.
The network effect encourages entrepreneurs and intellectual property creators to pursue more innovative and efficient goods.
It also has benefits for users by enabling them to participate in an increasingly valuable service and emphasizing the significance of attaining critical mass.
It will be more crucial than ever for service providers and consumers to understand the network effect and its advantages as the Web—one of the most notable examples of the network effect—becomes a bigger and bigger part of our lives.
With data, speed, AI, VR, and much more coming together, there's an unprecedented ability for business to take user experience to a whole new level.
People are drastically opening up to becoming more digital, to the point of even expecting it.
There are so much more data points available now that we can act upon together with machines to support us along with the speed of networks.
For example, your phones, your watches, your rings, and all other devices that can be interconnected, Web 3.0 will be able to make those data points available to enhance your overall user experience.
Future users of Web 3.0 and users of the metaverse platform may find the combination of ownership, smart contracts, reward systems, and immersion to be particularly interesting.
Customers can choose which businesses receive their data and for what purposes, allowing them to take advantage of more personalized and customized services.
This will change the way consumers interact with the brands they like and may even upset the current balance of power between the Web 2.0 giants.
With Web 3.0's inherent transparency, accountability, and equity, brands have the chance to transform the relationship with consumers—changing from customers to stakeholders and markets to communities.
The Birth of Digital Commerce
With the advent of Distributed Ledger and cryptocurrency technologies starting in 2010, we have witnessed the beginning of the next generation of decentralization.
The Internet has discovered its own type of commerce as a highly secure, digital medium of exchange that may be programmatically created to suit the different transactions between future human, machine, and virtual economies.
The decentralization of trust, money, and the transferability of value itself (i.e., commerce) is expected to happen with the emergence of Web 3.0.
Users formerly had to use centrally-controlled banking, which required them to leave the Web, in order to complete a commerce transaction.
Web 3.0 has made commerce a decentralized protocol, making it digitally native.
Web 3.0 introduces a distinct network economy in which the Web becomes its own economy; the economy is a Digital Economy and is native to the Web.
- The Virtualization of Everything
There will be billions of new virtual objects, environments, and experiences on the Spatial Web.
The largest asset class in history will be virtual assets.
They will need a secure and interoperable way of verifying their uniqueness and ownership, as well as a means of inter-game and inter-world commerce and portability across locations—both virtual and real—for us to profit from their value.
- World Builders and AI Generators
With its dynamic avatars and fort-building community wars, games like the explosive Fortnite, multiplayer worlds like Minecraft, e-sports, and others draw hundreds of millions of users each month.
They are generating billions of dollars in sales and inspiring an entire generation to build new worlds, objects, assets, and characters with tremendous utility and value to their communities.
However, as the Spatial Web evolves, it will be capable of creating portability and rendering standards for objects, shaders, characters, and powers in such a way that the world's 2 billion gamers will be able to discover new methods of linking, porting, mashing up, and building new worlds that operate together.
- Generative Adversarial Networks and Generative AI
The Spatial Web will revolutionize how we create art and culture, design and create products, build environments, enhance our bodies, and experience and share the realms of the imaginary.
Our perception of place, economics, community, and self-worth will be challenged by a new generation that chooses to create, play, and work in a virtual world.
The term "reality" will be redefined for future generations by AI's astounding ability to generate entire universes full of distinctive environments, populated by intelligent characters, and scenes that provide novel experiences at nearly endless scales.
Contextual Immersive Advertising
The Death Spiral of Online Advertising
Many of the most well-known tech company founders despised the idea of making money off of their services and applications through advertising; instead, they preferred the functionality of the original service to be what drove engagement.
However, other from charging for their service, which would significantly limit their user base, the only other option for financial success online was to sell advertising.
- The Threat of Hyper-Reality
While enormously larger than in its predecessors, the hyper-targeted personal advertising market on the Spatial Web nevertheless carries the same double-edged sword of economic value and human values.
Certainly, there is a huge financial opportunity here, but the ethical concerns are perhaps more pressing.
- How Advertising becomes Commerce
The chance that advertising in the Web 3.0 age will go from hyper-contextual advertising to hyper-contextual commerce may be the biggest irony of all.
This is due to the fact that the Spatial Web lets any person, place, or thing to have its own digital wallet and to transact using digital currencies, including micropayments.
In light of this situation, it appears certain that the advertisement and the transaction will fail.
Because of this, whole new forms of monetization that go beyond traditional e-commerce and online advertising may begin to emerge.
But the Web needs to have its commercialization layer upgraded for this to occur.
Although its original proposal was the voluntary exchange of data across a decentralized network of networks — without a central authority, its social, technological, economic, and political impacts have been substantial.
As it expands the potential for decentralization through technology into every aspect of human life, its impact grows yearly.
But new tools must be made available in order to ensure secure and interoperable transactions in Web 3.0.
- Interoperable Web Wallet
A native web wallet built into a Spatial Browser as part of a single-sign-on that works everywhere would give rise to completely new economic categories—it connects the human, machine, and virtual economies of the future.
- The Economy of Everything
Today, there are over 3.5 billion internet users, making the Internet a decentralized economic entity larger than the GDP of the UK, India, or Brazil.
And it will evolve significantly over the next ten years, spurred by technological and business model advancements.
The Spatial Web is essential for allowing a Digital Network Economy propelled by the exponential technologies of AR, VR, AI, IoT, and Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) of the Convergence.
No area of the existing economy will be untouched by these technologies in our hyper-connected global economy. Media, gaming, and virtual worlds will all be impacted and transformed, as will hospitals, farms, cities, manufacturing companies, transportation corporations, retail stores, and more.
Only those who can quickly adapt to technological change will succeed.
The very nature of economics and business models may be profoundly altered.
- Spatial Retail Shopping
You will be able to enter any store in the Spatial Web, pick out what you want to buy, and leave with your purchases being charged automatically. There is no need to line up.
Perhaps more intriguingly, a new sector of the global economy, the Experience Economy, will become the fastest growing and ultimately the largest.
- The Immersive Experience Economy
New generations of consumers will increasingly choose to buy experiences over services and products as VR and AR begin to produce high-quality digital experiences in an infinite number of virtual environments.
The Experience Economy will overtake other economic sectors as older jobs are automated.
As it connects our physical economy, the machine economy of IoT, and the digital economies of billions of augmented and virtual environments, their assets, and AI agents, spatial economics will exponentially grow our global economic value.
Is Web 3.0 the future?
Fundamentally, enabling all "smart things" to connect, such as smart glasses, cars, factories, cities, smart payments, contracts, assets, identities, and spaces, is what leads to the millions of applications that the Spatial Web enables.
The biggest implication of the Spatial Web is hinted at by these Smart Spaces, which are all networked together.
A smart and interconnected global civilization would be made possible for the first time in human history. A Smart World.
Dawn of A Smart World
Any person, place, or thing can have a self-sovereign, universal identity and address in a smart world, which spans both physical and virtual domains.
Smart cities integrate smart assets and smart payments.
The Spatial Browser, which works with all brands of smart glasses and other innovative interfaces, allows anyone, anywhere to access location-based smart information and objects in both the real and virtual worlds.
Finally, a Smart World is governed by a digital ocean of Spatial Contracts that permeate everything in our environment and enable dynamic rules to be automatically implemented and enforced in order to allow interactions, transactions, and the transfer of assets and users between Smart Spaces.
This type of Spatial Commerce serves as the foundation for a unified global smart supply chain.
Global supply chains are made possible by Smart Spaces that are interconnected, use smart payments, authenticate users, spaces, and assets, and track interactions and transactions between everything.
In order to provide a feedback loop of spatial operations and spatial analytics on a global scale, the Spatial Web is designed to integrate all exponential technologies, including AI, IoT, AR/VR, Robotics, and Blockchain.
Because of their interconnectedness, these powerful technologies can be aligned for good, resulting in the construction of more sustainable farms, supply chains, clinics, water and waste management systems, and even entire cities.
The information and resources required to operationalize the global opportunities and challenges listed in the UN Sustainable Development Goals can be measured, managed, and coordinated using them.
The Evolution of Reality
Since then, we have created new and better ways to enhance both our own and other people's lives using our “personal virtual reality” or Personal VR simulators.
We have done this by making reality simpler, more practical, secure, and fun.
We've used our tools to change or augment reality.
Everything we have ever created — architecture, products, machines, music, and works of art — is essentially just Public AR.
Our inventions transform our Personal VR into a Public AR, creating a feedback loop that inspires the development of new Private VR simulations that, after being adapted, generate new Public AR creations.
And this feedback loop becomes a driver of personal and cultural progress.
Humanity is a Reality Engine
The Spatial Web provides us with the ultimate medium we require today to showcase the best ideas we can imagine in our Private VR using our tools (AI and Machines) to collectively share, modify, and manage globally our collective Public AR, aka the World.
As it turns out, Humanity is a Reality Engine, and this is what we do best.
The world has improved in many ways thanks to the internet. The semantic web is the next stage in the evolution of the Internet, and it will make sure that we can always benefit from it and steer clear of its disadvantages.
Web 3.0 is crucial because it enables organizations to streamline processes by eliminating intermediaries and connecting computers directly.
This makes it easier for employees, partners, and customers to communicate and work together, resulting in a more efficient business.
With other cutting-edge technologies, Web 3.0 is expected to enhance consumer privacy (and trust) while also making it more user-friendly. Web 3.0's potential seems to be advantageous for both consumers and businesses. We're excited about all the new opportunities!
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