The 5 Main Features of Web 3.0 Team - 30 April 2020

web 3.0 definition
Data Growth and Web 3.0

What is Web 3.0? If you look for a Web 3.0 definition you probably won’t find a clear and unique explanation. In 2006, Tim Berners Lee said, “People keep asking what Web 3.0 is. I think maybe when you’ve got an overlay of scalable vector graphics – everything rippling and folding and looking misty – on Web 2.0 and access to a semantic Web integrated across a huge space of data, you’ll have access to an unbelievable data resource…”.

To understand the data volumes he was talking about (and that are constantly growing), consider these statistics (source CISCO VNI: Forecast and Methodology, 2015-2020). Global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next 5 years, annual global IP traffic will reach 2.3 ZB per year by 2020, smartphone traffic will exceed PC traffic by 2020, and the number of devices connected to IP networks will be more than three times the global population by 2020. While it’s undeniable that the data volumes are growing faster than ever before (and we will continue to create new content to be managed every second), the debate about a Web 3.0 definition and its connections with the digital universe of data is still open.

Web 3.0 Definition: 5 Main Features

It’s easier to identify the major differences between Web 1.0 ( users passively consult web pages and for the most part don’t participate in generating content) and Web 2.0 ( users create content and interact with sites and with each other through social media, forums, etc.). Instead, with Web 3.0, the differences are not as clearly defined. The term, coined by the reporter John Markoff of The New York Times in 2006, refers to a new evolution of the web, its third generation, and includes specific innovations and practices.

Below are 5 main features that can help us define Web 3.0:

  1. Semantic Web
    The next evolution of the Web involves the Semantic Web. The semantic web improves web technologies in order to generate, share and connect content through search and analysis based on the ability to understand the meaning of words, rather than on keywords or numbers.
  2. Artificial Intelligence
    Combining this capability with natural language processing, in Web 3.0, computers can understand information like humans in order to provide faster and more relevant results. They become more intelligent to satisfy the needs of users.
  3. 3D Graphics
    The three dimensional design is being used extensively in websites and services in Web 3.0. Museum guides, computer games, ecommerce, geospatial contexts, etc. are all examples that use 3D graphics.
  4. Connectivity
    With Web 3.0, information is more connected thanks to semantic metadata. As a result, the user experience evolves to another level of connectivity that leverages all the available information.
  5. Ubiquity
    Content is accessible by multiple applications, every device is connected to the web, the services can be used everywhere.

How Web 3.0 Can Change Our Lives

These features bring us closer to a Web 3.0 definition. Now, let’s look at an example that brings these 5 features together.
In Web 3.0, while you are driving, you can simply ask your automotive assistant a question (“I would like to watch a romantic movie and eat Japanese food”). The search engine embedded in the car assistant provides you with a personalized response that takes into account your location, suggesting the closest cinema that matches your request and a good Japanese restaurant by automatically consulting the reviews on social media. Then it might even present a 3D menu from the restaurant in the display.

This scenario of Web 3.0 is not a dream… For the most part, it’s already a reality today (for example the semantic web and artificial intelligence) thanks to cognitive technology. Using semantic analysis and natural language processing, the AI technology helps you understand meaning and extract insight from web content and unstructured data.

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Originally published January 2017, updated April 2020