The future of the internet develops from the common 2D web into a more and more realistic three-dimensional cyberworld.
This however is so far still basically unknown to a wider public; but this trend seems unstoppable. At this moment the internet is conquering the virtual threedimensional space. We hardly got used to the term 'Web 2.0' – already 'Web 3.0' knocks at our doors. At least this term will be easy to remember, because…
Web 3.0 will be nothing else than three-dimensional internet.
In Web 2.0 we have the possibility to participate in the internet with blogs, Wikipedia, Youtube, Facebook, Digg or Myspace. With Web 3.0 we will do the same thing – but in 3D! The leap from Community Web 2.0 to 3D Web 3.0 will be a quantum jump, which can be compared to the step from book to television.
At this very moment thousands of users worldwide linger in 3D-worlds like Second Life or 3D-games suchs as Entropiauniverse and Activeworlds.
These virtual spaces are however just forerunners of a much greater trend. The whole net will become a complete threedimensional world – a virtual parallel-world to real life. These new worlds will be inhabited by so-called avatars.
An avatar is an artificial person or a graphic representative of a person in a virtual world, as for example in a computer game.
So it is about a kind of virtual I or we could also call it our alter ego. The word avatar is sanskrit and literally means 'descent' and implies descent of a god into the bodily realms of planet earth. Computer-avatars however represent real people – at least for the time being. In this regard, virtual worlds are more real than certain telephone-hotlines!
Philip Rosedale, founder of Second Life, believes that one day 1'500 million people will have a second existence.
Rosedale believes that virtual identities will become as popular as email-addresses and mobile phones. Too daring a prediction? If we consider the fact that 10 years ago in 1997 only a handful of people owned their own email-address, virtual identities for a great part of the population seem very well realistic.
The adding of the third dimension will shift the internet into a hyper-realistic parallelworld.
In the year 2020 it will be difficult to distinguish this computerworld from the real world. A foretaste of this can be seen in the onlineworld which is currently best-known: Second Life. Luxurious flats on tropical islands…sports like skydiving and skateboarding…virtual campus including teachers and lecture rooms…virtual sex, escort agencies, red-light district, tabledance…purchase and vending of land, real estate, cars, furniture, clothes…3D-chat…and all the rest of it. This and much more can be experienced at this stage!