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What is The Spatial Web and how it will transform the internet?

Spatial Web

In late 1980, Web 1.0 enabled humans to get a non-unified form of information from static web pages. As the connections got faster, the new form Web 2.0 arrived with the digital technology and software enriched user interaction. Web 2.0 introduced interactive web applications, multimedia contents, and participatory social media. This evolution in Web development connected our planet more in one decade. Using Web 2.0, users can have democratized participation through interactive applications and sites. It is a fast flowing current of information which has created ripple effects in scientific discovery, economic growth, and technological progress on an unprecedented scale. With Web 2.0, people have seen the explosion of social networking sites, informative sites, and online collaboration platforms. Entrepreneurs got access to billions of potential customers and customers have become creators. Today, with the help of connected devices, physically isolated users can raise their voice with a microphone.

What exactly is Web 3.0?

If Web 2.0 took the world by storm, the Spatial Web rising today will eat it and leave it in the dust. Currently, there’s no clear agreement about its definition, but in general, the Spatial Web refers to a computing atmosphere that exists in a 3D space. It is a pairing of real and virtual realities, enabled via billions of connected devices, and accessed through the interface of Virtual and Augmented Reality. The Spatial Web will enable users to both build a twin of physical reality in a virtual realm and bring the digital world into real one.

While people are living in three dimensions, the web they use is a two-dimension flat visual. The Web 2.0 was designed for shared information, which is available through a flat screen of devices. But, technologies like AI, smart sensors, and interconnected networks are connecting the physical and online worlds. Users need a spatial web to digitally map and experience a three-dimensional world.

What the Spatial Web will include?

Coupled with AI agents, data mining, machine learning, and natural language search, the Spatial Web will comprise the latest revolutionary technologies. They comprised of AR/VR, IoT wearables like smart glasses, autonomous sensors, and decentralized computing with blockchain. This decentralized computing will provide greater security and data authentication, speeding everything up. Adding advanced integrations, Spatial Web will seamlessly work with physical environment. It will overlay everything including conversations, roads, conference room, and classrooms with AI-powered interaction and intuitive information.

In the Spatial Web, every physical element of every building in the actual world will be fully digitized.  There will be virtual avatars for each human being and one can roam in virtual work or meeting places. This means that every piece of information around the world will become spatial.

How will it work? 

Currently, people are utilizing cloud computing where data is neither saved in a traditional standalone PC nor in servers. Users are interacting with web through Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri. Using AR/VR apps, people can enter virtual worlds and experience them seamlessly.

But, the Spatial Web will have the ability to take us numerous steps ahead. With the utilization of AI, every environment will become smarter. Moreover, every data point about users and their assets, both virtual and physical will be stored securely, enhanced, and monetized. In essence, the Spatial Web will be a digitally improved three-dimensional version of the world. There will be entirely fictional virtual worlds where people can support entire economies, run simulations, and even improve political systems across the world.

What the Spatial Web will need to rule the world?

Web 2.0 depends on the TCP/IP protocol which is used to address a PC and transfer data packets. In case of Spatial Web, it will be built on a spatial programming language analogous to HTML to build a linkable address for any physical or virtual space. This programming will enable it to get in a format that will make it compatible with all virtual spaces across the world. And like the Web 2.0, as soon as a virtual room populates with content, web developers will then need to encode who can see it, who can buy from it, and who has privileges to alter it.

For posting content on a centralized grid, the Spatial Web’s governing system will allow users to address everything like the room they are sitting in, the chair on the other side of the table, or the building across the street. Further, as the Web 2.0 has a DNS for the purchase of web domains, the Web 3.0 will require addresses to spaces which is similar to granting URLs in Web 2.0. Then, the users can identify and visit addressable locations, physical objects, individuals or pieces of digital content in cyberspace. Emergence in mapping technologies will improve the accuracy to map rooms, objects, and large-scale environments in virtual space.

Smart News, Media, Advertising, Retail and More

The Spatial Web will transform numerous things including the way people learn and educate, their business methods, their interactions with real and virtual versions of each other. With 3D capability and a wireless mesh network, the Web 3.0 will broadcast countless 360-degree feeds captured by local population. One can experience news and media by actually visiting the place.

The distribute ledger technologies like blockchain will require advertisers to prove their claim while engaging directly with consumers. Accessing crowd-sourced reviews and AI-driven fact-checking, users will be able to validate advertising claims more efficiently and accurately than ever before.

Preparing for the upcoming advancements in Web 2.0, big e-commerce players like Amazon and Alibaba are leaping onto the scene with new software capabilities to ride the impending headset revolution. Players like IKEA are going beyond virtual reality and have even begun using mobile-based augmented reality to map digitally replicated furniture in physical living room, true to dimension. People soon be able to walk through a smart-store from anywhere in the world and order a physical outfit for actual use and virtual outfit for their virtual versions. The Web 2.0 was just the beginning. The digital transformer is on its way to meet and enlighten people’s world.


By Mayur Shewale (Assistant Editor)