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Web 3.0: How the Spatial Web is About to Change Everything

The internet put information at our fingertips. It changed the way we find and buy things and the way we communicate. It almost seems hard to remember when we didn’t have a cell phone in our pockets or purses that connected us to this treasure trove.

The next phase of technology change is set to change things again. 

Web 3.0

AOL and Netscape took advantage of internet connectivity to connect machines across physical locations. In Web 1.0, though, it was mainly a one-way street. You could access information, pictures, and text. Web 2.0 brought about mobile apps, social networking, and rich media. That’s where we are today – an interactive phase that facilitates two-way communication.

Web 3.0 is the informal name for what data scientists and developers call Spatial Web. The Spatial Web takes things from a flat, 2D view shown on a screen and expands your view to let you look virtually through the screen into a 3D world.  Spatial applications, incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) open up new applications.

We’ve already seen the beginnings. Pokemon Go burst on to the scene in 2016 using augmented reality (AR) to see and “catch” characters as they popped up on the phone in real-world environments. Home furnishing companies such as IKEA allow you to map virtual furniture and furnishings in your home. Instead of envisioning it, you can see through the glass to insert digital content into real-world environments.

5G technology allows for faster data speeds and low latency. Edge computing, Blockchain, sensors, and the growing integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) will accelerate delivery. Together, it makes possible what seemed like something out of reach.

By laying digital information on top of physical surroundings, developers can make any environment smart.

It can also create virtual worlds that allow users to interact in new ways. These new worlds, aided by tools such as AR glasses or the AR cloud, combined with haptic gloves that simulate a sense of touch with virtual 3D images, are already being used by surgeons. They can practice surgery on virtual organs before undertaking the real thing. In real life surgeries, doctors would have access to information about patient histories, treatments, and run through scenarios instantly based on data input without to touch a computer or look at a file.

How It Works

Sophisticated AR needs more computing power than most devices currently have. However, Blockchain enables this computing power to be distributed. Much of the AR processing power is cloud-based. 

Cameras, sensor, and location data can integrate real-time data to create environments. 

We’re seeing the early stages in applications such as fitness. A wall-mounted mirror with cameras and sensors can display live exercise instructors while overlaying your physical image on the screen to mirror movements. Biometric sensors can measure your heart rate and other vital signs. Other sensors can measure the number of steps you take or the number of reps you perform so that you can optimize your fitness routines.

Web 3.0 Examples

Businesses are already seeing results from the use of Web 3.0 technology. By providing workers with deep information accessible instantly in the real world, companies can enhance worker productivity and raise the level of knowledge. With AR glasses, workers in a fulfillment center can instantly know where every item is stored, how many items are in each bin, and the quickest route to get to it. They will virtually see it in front of them.

Companies such as Walmart have begun using AR, AI, and VR in training to run employees through customized training programs. They can simulate the frenzy of Black Friday shopping, for example, and place employees in more intense situations. The company says it has seen a 10-15 percent increase in retention since using 17,000 Oculus Go headsets for training.

Some airlines are using AR headsets for cargo management. Pilot programs have shown a 30% improvement in cargo handling speed with a 90% reduction in error rates. Mattel uses Web 3.0 to bring together designers from all over the world into a Spatial project room to create new product lines for iconic brands such as Hot Wheels and Barbie. Engineers are overlaying blueprints on worksites and instantly calling up detailed specs.

Imagine a virtual shopping mall that lets visitors walk into different stores and examine shelves full of goods and providing instant access to pricing and product descriptions. AI-fueled personal assistants might suggest the perfect wardrobe for today, considering the weather, your schedule, measurements, and preferences. It might overlay various options and coordinate jewelry, makeup choices, and show you alternatives. Create a personalize fashion show with you as the model.

Poised For Disruption

In most cases, Web 3.0 technology is not being designed to replace humans, but rather to augment and facilitate collaboration. 

More than 150 companies and more than 50 of the Fortune 500 are using AR/VR tools. Mobile AR already accounts for $3 billion in global app store revenues, ad spending, and e-commerce sales. Investors project it to be a $70 to $75 billion market by 2023.

Web 3.0 is poised to disrupt multiple industries. It has the potential to redefine the way people work, interact, shop, and live. What was once science fiction is quickly becoming a reality.

Looking to leverage this new technology in your company or marketing, contact us today for help.

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With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.