Insights · December 13th, 2007

This episode of Future Talks is on the question of what is Beyond Web 2.0?

In the Future Talks online TV series, international futurists Glen Hiemstra and Gerd Leonhard engage in a conversation with Ralph Simon as he interviews them about the trends shaping the future of media. When discussing what is beyond Web 2.0 Glen and Gerd highlight such trends as …

With Web 2.0, we find many of the original conceptions of the web are becoming reality. Broadband and Flash technologies now allow for the more comprehensive and active interface anticipated in the early days of the web. Users add elements, respond to content, and participate in the creation of their web experience much more so than was possible in the first wave of development. Not only the technologies, but the very idea of what it means to use the web is also evolving, as the boundaries between what it means to be online and offline are blurred.

We can take this trend out ten, fifteen, twenty years and expect to find a deep integration between digital experiences and the real world. Beyond Web 2.0, technologies will become three-dimensional, more fully immersive, and provide an augmentation of reality. Some of these technologies are already in use. Augmented reality glasses will paint a three dimensional image, allowing users to see both the world and a computerized vision of surrounding them at the same time. Microsoft is developing a gestural computing screen that will allow users to navigate with gestures instead of keystrokes. Satellite mapping programs like Google Earth will allow us to visually “float into air” to view our destinations from above. And interlays of programs such as Google Earth and Second Life will bring the digitized, fictionalized world into the real world in real time.

As these more fully immersive applications become commonplace, and we find ourselves able to live seamlessly in an online world, issues of data, security and privacy will come into greater focus. Media sharing will also be heavily impacted, in ways that we’re already observing. Notably, methods of sharing and accessing media have already become integral to Web 2.0; those companies who have innovated with this in mind are the ones thriving in the new environment.

Beyond Web 2.0, we can anticipate an increased blending of the virtual and real worlds, as the online experience becomes more integrative, participatory and fully-dimensional. While the Star Trek Holodeck may remain the stuff of science fiction in our lifetimes, we can at least look forward to being “beamed up” by Google Earth.

This program and all the Future Talks programs are available at Media Conversations, both for viewing and as MP3 downloads. And the entire series can be obtained as free podcasts from iTunes. (At the iTunes store, search for “media conversations.”)

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Nikolas Badminton – Chief Futurist

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA, and has worked with over 300 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

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