My grandparents lived through a time where they saw huge developments; the launch of the car, invention of air and space travel, to name a few. I often wondered what inventions would be successful in my lifetime, but be taken for granted by my children, to the point where life without it would be unimaginable? It was hard to believe any such product would exist, UNTIL the introduction of the World Wide Web, invented by Sir Tim Bernes-Lee in 1989 and launched a couple of years later.
The world wide web was amazing! It changed everything! It could replace your daily news papers, encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc but best of all it was all accessible from one place, your desk top computer! Articles, websites and news were all published and read by the user, this platform, Web 1.0, was soon overtaken by what we now know as Web 2.0, named as such by Darcy DiNucci in 1999 but made popular in 2004 by Tim O’Rielly CEO of O’Rielly Media. The technical ability of Web2.0 enabled interaction between the author and their audience, encouraging feedback and participation. It allowed people to communicate with one another, instantly making the world a much smaller place. Users determined what was important on the web and readily shared it with their friends. The development of mobile devices such a phones and tablets made staying in touch so much easier, for this generation the internet began to be part of every day life.
It doesn’t stop there! We are now experiencing even more advanced technology. Web 3.0 takes the features offered by Web 2.0 to another level, to the extent that Web 3.0 is also known as Semantic Web. Semantic Web technologies add meaning and assist the user. For example, when completing a form, the program recognises this and assists by prompting you. Artificial Intelligence is increasingly being utilised, allowing us to talk to our phone and give it commands, for example; ‘Siri’ on Apple products….this interaction between people and technology provides hours of fun in our house! Artificial Intelligence also includes translation of languages, this is available on Google, finger print recognition and face recognition….all of this is happening now!
We have also seen the development of what is known as the Internet of Things (IoT), now this is amazing…It basically takes normal every day items and gives them he capability to interact with other devices and people. Fridges are programmed to identify when certain items are running low and sends a message to your phone alerting you of this, you can also scan products in and record their use by dates, the fridge will advise you of imminent expiration of products! Although this technology is not commonly used yet, it is available and will most definitely be going on my wish list!
Image from http://www.d.ibtimes.co.uk
It is mind blowing to see how fast the World Wide Web has developed. Already technical experts are working on Web 4.0 and 5.0 technologies which will no doubt be as incredible as what we experiencing today. Below is an image which indicates the direction the internet is moving towards. If you are anything like me you will be sat there right now in disbelief at how amazing this technology and its capability is…my brain is buzzing!
Image from http://www.slideshare.net
Anderson, p. (2012). Web2.0 and beyond: Principles and technologies. CRC Press, Boca Raton , FL.