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What is Web 3.0?

written by: S. R. Obbayi•edited by: Amber Neely•updated: 8/17/2010

Web 3.0 could simply be used to refer to the ideas behind how the Semantic Web is expected to work. In this article I explain a little more about what the Web 3.0 vision is.

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    History of the Web

    It is hard to talk about Web 3.0 without mentioning a little bit about Web 2.0 and Web 1.0. Web 1.0 is simply the way the web was originally with characteristically brochure type websites and not much interactivity other than a basic contact form on one of the pages of the website. Then came the burst of the .com bubble and then emerged was is termed as Web 2.0.

    Web 2.0 was name given to describe a way aimed at making the web truly open, global and interactive. Web 2.0 was characterized by the emergence of Social Networking websites, wikis, blogs, video sharing, collaboration websites, search engines and more.

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    Future of the Web?

    Web 3.0 could be billed as the future of the web and an end to the web as we know it today. So what exactly is Web 3.0? First of all it is important to note that there is no set definition of what Web 3.0 is and therefore you are only left to understand that Web 3.0 can only be explained within the confines of it being a concept. This is a concept best described as the advanced artificial intelligence acting on the semantic web which is where all information is categorized and stored in such a way that a computer can understand it as well as a human.

    Web 3.0 could be seen as a vision where there entire web can be visualized as one big pool of information and systems that are comprised of individual modules so to speak that interact with each other collectively to produce an output out of this information. These modules can be anything from computers and embedded devices to the implementations of how that information is analyzed and distributed.

    Web 3.0 is where the divide between human beings and machines understanding of information will be bridged. This will allow for example, search engines today to accept complex sentences and use them as search terms and be able to return a result based on its understanding. An example sentence would be. “I need to find a hotel in Miami and book tickets to the nearest theater from the hotel between the 20th and the 30th of this month”. This kind of a search term would be clearly understood by the search engines producing positive and meaningful results. The software behind the web 3.0 concepts would should high levels of artificial intelligence to be able to break down the semantic information.

    So from the example above, you can see that Web 3.0 is a concept where the web becomes much more intelligent than it is so as to make the current Web 2.0 features easier and more interesting to used and increasing the value earned in return.

    Read more on the distinction between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 here and then there is this article on the search engine Wolfram|Alpha that explains deeper the concept of a semantic web.

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    Interactive 3D content

    As Web 3.0 becomes fully implemented, the use of interactive 3D content without the use of pluggins such as Flash or Silverlight will be possible across all browsers and platforms as the use of HTML5 grows. This will open up a whole new gaming and simulation platform which will for example allow doctors to share 3D models of a patients heart in live animation and be able to twist and turn it to view it from all angles. The possibilities are endless.

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    What of the not so Distant Future?

    Other bold projections of what Web 3.0 will be all about a web being a parallel virtual world. One example would be a web space consisting of shops in a mall where from the comfort of the home you can walk right through and make purchases as though you were really there in the mall or you could take virtual rides at popular theme parks to aid your decisions for your next vacation. This is not just restricted to one building or theme park but to the entire world, with building roads and structure like never seen before.