Before the days of iPhones and iPads, many people reading this will remember the excitement and frustration of connecting to the internet via a dial-up modem in the mid-nineties. In more innocent times, the arrival of the super information highway enabled the global community to browse static web pages.
This primitive era- ruled by the likes of AOL and Yahoo – is often referred to as Web 1.0. As broadband speeds followed and Web 2.0 emerged, the internet as we knew it began to evolve from mere static pages to a much more social web. Although MySpace is lost in our internet history, social media platforms are now over a decade old, and it’s time to start thinking about the next evolution of the world wide web and beyond.
Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, blockchain and IoT are building the foundation of Web 3.0. Welcome to the future web that will enable a new generation of complex databases to capture relevant information about consumers and provide real-time personalisation.
Not only will this tech help businesses build stronger relationships directly with their customers – it will also enable them to cut costs by removing third parties from the equation.
The semantic web
Many are predicting that the next evolution of the internet will involve the so-called Semantic Web. New and improved web technologies will help businesses of all sizes generate content, while also sharing and connecting through search and analysis based on machines’ ability to understand the meaning of actual written words—not just keywords or numbers.
IoT and the internet of everything
Almost every item we purchase now comes with an always-online connection. Everything from smart fridges, home heating, lighting and even toasters prove that IoT is here to stay. However, it’s time to think bigger than IoT and towards the inevitability of the Internet of Everything (IoE).
For business leaders, all applications, devices, services, verticals and regions will continuously add to IoE. All of these can be broken down into two sub-segments: infrastructure & network and application technologies. To put the scale of this into perspective, the application segment is expected to reach $7.44 trillion by 2022.
Essentially, a blockchain is a database of records or transactions that have been executed and shared between the participating parties. Although blockchain can appear to be incredibly complex and daunting, the opportunities it offers businesses is impossible to ignore.
Each record is verified by consensus of the majority of system participants. However, information cannot be erased. Welcome to a new digital age where trust and transparency are the new currency.
Introducing Decentralized Apps (dApps)
Many are beginning to predict that 2019 will be the year we will witness a range of decentralized apps (dApps) reach mainstream adoption by millions of users. In what could be an exciting year for blockchain based startups with dApps, don’t be surprised to see the solutions of tomorrow reach billion-dollar valuations quickly.
For too long, businesses have just accepted clunky apps that cause frustration and inconvenience rather than remove it. The next generation of apps will be expected to be intuitive, interactive, smart and always connected across all devices.
Web 3.0 technologies like the smart home are already transforming our lives, as they are much more than just concepts now. Fundamentally, technology has already changed the ways we work, where we work, and even who we are working with. Businesses that ride the wave of exponential change will be the most successful and have a chance of keeping up with the rising expectations of their audience.
As we enter a new collaborative economy, users are increasingly losing both their trust and faith in the tech behemoths that became institutions in a new digital world. Privacy and security have been two recurring themes in 2018 we can expect to continue into this year.
Web 3.0 will not be built overnight. But in 2019, we can expect technologies such as 5G, AI, machine learning, dApps, smart contracts and blockchain to begin converging and laying the foundations of a future decentralized web. With the rise of the interconnected digital systems on the horizon, it appears the fourth industrial revolution is much closer than many suspected.