Real Time Communications Featured Article

Web 3.0: Real Time, All the Time

April 23, 2014

When Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web in 1989, he opened the doors to making information accessible to everyone. Flash forward to today, and the Internet provides benefits beyond that; we can communicate, share, educate, debate, discuss and create. The term “long-distance” seems irrelevant today, since video conferencing, email, chat and other communications and collaboration tools make it possible to replicate face-to-face interactions.  

This dynamic Internet has a name: Web 2.0. Web 2.0 represents the Internet evolution as it becomes more embedded in our daily lives, including social media, communications applications and collaborative tools.

The next phase and future of the Internet is in the Internet of Things – the trend of sensors, gateways, devices and systems communicating with each other, transmitting an extraordinary amount of data in real-time. In a CIO2CMO post, Brad Bush, CMO of GENBAND, explained how this growth of connected endpoints and real-time communications technologies, including WebRTC, will drive an economic growth spurt similar to the Web 2.0 with Web 3.0

Lifeboat Research defines Web 3.0 as “a third generation of Internet-based services that collectively comprise what might be called ‘the intelligent Web’ — such as those using semantic web, micro-formats, natural language search, data-mining, machine learning, recommendation agents, and artificial intelligence technologies — which emphasize machine-facilitated understanding of information in order to provide a more productive and intuitive user experience.”

Bush explains how WebRTC fits into this next-generation Web: It makes it possible to embed real-time communications capabilities into business, emergency and personal scenarios and take communications on the Web to the next level.

While previously users may have simply visited a website to view or download content, Web 2.0 introduced a more engaging use of the Internet, putting control in the hands of users to collaborate on content and fuel what information became available online. Web 3.0 takes that to the next level by incorporating real-time communications functionality, such as calling or messaging, right into these once-static websites.

Barriers to Real-time Communications in Web 3.0

Just as the Internet is always evolving, technologies like WebRTC are still developing. Beyond considerations like standards development and browser support, there are also issues of awareness and adoption. Bush cites Dean Bubley, a forerunner in the WebRTC space, who explains few developers are seriously thinking about embedding communications into applications or websites, and others are frustrated with fragmentation and OS support.

As more companies, end- users and developers become aware of the next phase of the Internet – and the benefits that come with it – the growth of Web 3.0 applications will disrupt online communications just as it did in waves before. 

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