Only a couple of years ago, prior to Google’s involvement in the mobile phone market, I predicted that Google’s involvement was necessary or they would suffer the consequences of inaction. Why? As smartphones became our dominant computing device, suddenly Google had a major problem as people would not be using their computers and therefore would not be able to use Google.
Google was doomed for failure if they didn’t act, and act fast to become a dominant prescence in the mobile phone market. And today, with Google’s Android operating system and their purchase of the mobile division of Motorola Google is in a very powerful position once again.
It’s important to take a look at the evolution of the Web and how it plays into the above scenario.
Web 1.0 was search; access to information. It started with the beginning of a browser. This was 1994-1995.
Then, Web 1.0 evolved into Web 2.0, which started with social media. Social media’s foundation was built on content sharing.
In my book Technotrends, I said that we would be shifting from the information age, which is one way and static, based on informing, to the communication age, which is interactive, 2-way, engaging and dynamic. And, I talked about that that shift would take place in the middle of the first decade of the 2000’s.
Well, that’s exactly what social media is. I just didn’t know the buzzword that we would call it back then. But here we are, in social media, which is about content sharing. It’s really about communicating, not just informing. So, even that was, again, predictable.
So, what’s next? Could you predict what’s next, where are we going? Is it all going to be just Facebook? And the answer is actually no, you can predict what’s next. Let me use certainty and hard trends to show you where the Web is going.
What is Web 3.0? The key action is going to be immersion, and the experience is going to be a 3D one. We are not talking about the 3D that one experiences on their television or in movie theaters. What it is, is your main computing device, which is, increasingly, your smartphone and your tablet. And, by the way, all phones will be Smartphones soon. Why bother having a dumb phone? It is easy to create an interspatial, 3-dimensional experience right now, with a regular television. Things don’t stick out, but you go into – into – an interspatial world like the Xbox 360, and so on. So, one does not need new technology for interspatial 3D.
So, what do we have now? We have 3D going to games and kids, which is generally where new technology goes first, but it will definitely go to business.
Let’s face it: your browser, right now, is nothing more than a 2-dimensional flat piece of paper in color, that has a hyperlink and an embedded video. Once we have the 3D experience, and that translates into a 3D Web browser, you’ll, once again, have game-changing capabilities.
So, can we predict what’s next? Yes! How about Web 4.0? And, by the way, this is coming on fast. The key action with Web 4.0 is intelligence. The experience is going to be a personal e-assistant. So, in other words, there was a contest between the best Jeopardy winners of all time and Watson, which was the supercomputer from IBM. And, of course, we all know that Watson won, and really won big.
So, what does that mean? Well, we’re going to be accessing Watson-like computers. They will be supercomputers out in the cloud, and we’ll be accessing them from our Smartphones and our tablets. And we will be using ultra-intelligence electronic agents that we talk to, and that get to know us and what we do, and so on.
So, if I’m going to be flying at 3:00 in the afternoon today, and it’s in the morning, my e-agent, when I get up and get going, is going to look like whatever I decided they want to look like. It could be a television character, it could be a comedian. I may rent a personality. Or it might even be a cartoon, if I’m a kid.
Anyway, that e-agent will pop in and say, “You’re taking a flight at 3:00 this afternoon. Actually, there’s been a change of equipment because of a mechanical. It’s leaving at 3:45. I’ve already taken care of that. I’ll let you know about the gate on the way. By the way, it will be raining. Take a raincoat.” How does it know that? Well, of course, it’s on the Internet. Your e-agent knows these things. It knows where you’re going, it knows what you’re trying to do, and it’s giving you assistance.
So, we’re going to be, once again, using our computers and our phones in a totally different way, and it will create another game-changing revolution.
So, let’s go back to Facebook being the Internet. Is Facebook the Internet? No, it’s the current winner, it’s the current dominant, giant force. But there is no guarantee that Facebook will be the dominant force in the next 5, 7, 8 or 10 years, even with their gigantic growth as technology is changing very rapidly. As a matter of fact, it’s actually transforming. It’s not even changing. And that, once again, leaves windows of opportunity for new players to come in.
One last comment.
Remember, before Facebook, it was MySpace. MySpace was the big one, until Facebook came along and changed it, and took over. So, will there be something else? Oh yes. So right now it appears that Facebook is the Internet, but it’s not the new Internet, it’s just the leader of one category of social media. It’s a big one, but there will be others.