As the crips line between our physical and digital world is blurring, a world dominated by Spatial Web is on its way. The convergence of enabling the large tech giants like Google and Facebook to direct our lives into uncertainty is giving rise to a new era of the internet. Web 3.0.
If examined closely, the internet is actually like a net made up of millions of computers, smartphones, and many other technology devices, software, and programs. Though snipping a few threads off this global net does not make a huge collapse simply because there are thousands of different ways of building connections.
Though sometimes, governments can cut off the internet service in some regions, when seen through the global lense, crashing or switching off the global internet at the same time is next to impossible. But a glimpse of how closely one can get to accomplish this practically impossible scenario was witnessed by the world in the recent server down of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp Crash
Yes, Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp are not the entire internet. They are just social media platforms. But, in the majority of developing African countries, a large population uses the Free Basics of Facebook. So, for these millions of people, the server down of Facebook could imply that the entire internet is down.
Furthermore, there are thousands of businesses today that run their massive section of the business via Facebook. Many people use Facebook IDs and passwords as login credentials to log into other services or applications. Therefore, the server down for 6 hours had some devastating consequences.
All this loss is a direct implication of the centralized structure of the entire internet, with only a few companies controlling the internet as a whole. But, during its inception, the sole purpose of the internet was decentralization, completely opposite of what it has become today.
The Inception of Internter: Decentralization
During World War II, the US invented the internet to get an edge by decentralizing the communication system. JCR Licklider, 1962 of Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), proposed the concept of a galactic network between all the computers. Based on this innovative idea, ARPA Net that would later grow to become the mighty internet was invented in 1969 that connected the existing computers of that time.
Despite the interconnection of the computers, the different programming languages of each system made the interaction between the computers incompatible. Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn put forth the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), an inter-networking solution, which resolved the language barrier. ARPA Net adopted the TCP/IP protocol in 1983.
Internet: The Failed Purpose
Another milestone of the internet for the general population was the invention of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990. By openly publishing this software for the world, enabling people to follow threads of knowledge easily. This selfless act provided us with the mighty internet.
But, today, Tim Berners-Lee’s efforts to decentralize the internet are going down the barrel. He says, “we demonstrated the web had failed instead of humanity, as it was supposed to have done and failed in many places.” The free access to the web by everyone is fading as a few select companies have established a monopoly over the entire internet, resulting in the robust centralization of this miraculous technology.
Web 3.0: The Future of Internet
To counter the monopoly of large internet giants like Facebook and Google, many experts, including Tim, look up at Web 3.0, The Future of the Internet. Web 3.0 aims to decentralize the internet, an internet that is not controlled, monitored and relies on a single company.
Many new innovative proposals have been put forth by numerous initiators. For example, Mastodon, a decentralized version of Twitter, was developed by a German coder. Furthermore, technologies like Blockchain also focus on the decentralization in the global financial system.
Even Tim Bernie-Lee himself is working on his own decentralized platform named Solid. It is a platform that provides authority to individuals to control their data instead of handing over their data to giant companies. In a nutshell, Soldi is an initiative that teaches the user to keep their data on the internet without relying on other companies.
Any social application or website build upon Solid will save the user data on a user’s pod rather than transferring and keeping all the data in these social applications’ servers.
Web 3.0: The Transforming Future
The upcoming innovative technologies are trying to build the internet and web in a decentralized structure, pushing the monopoly of dominating companies down the drain. This is Web 3.0, where the world will once again witness the rise of decentralized applications and decentralized web.
Peter Diamandis, a Greek-American physician, engineer, and entrepreneur, says, “the world around us is about to light up with layer upon layer of rich, fun, meaningful, engaging, and dynamic data. Data you can see and interact with. This magical future ahead is called the Spatial Web and will transform every aspect of our lives, from retail and advertising, to work and education, to entertainment and social interaction.”