The Parallels Between the World Wide Web and Emerging Technologies

The Parallels Between the World Wide Web and Emerging Technologies

Do you remember times before the World Wide Web? With technology being a central part of our daily lives– it feels like a fuzzy memory to recall a world without it. The Web made it possible for people to share information and connect from thousands of miles apart. It is easy to take it for granted now, as everything we need is right at our fingertips. 

What if I told you that we may have another revolutionary period coming our way. That is one of emerging technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR)  and Virtual Reality (VR).  

You may think integrating such new technology is out of the question, at least in the near future. 

However, let’s dive into the story of the World Wide Web a little more. 

The World Wide Web marks the end of an era of frustrating incompatibilities between computer systems. According to Tim Berners Lee, it is defined as “ The universe of global network-accessible information”. The Web, put simply, is a shared information space where people can collaborate and communicate. 

Today, we are certain it has made our lives easier. I personally cannot imagine doing research before the Web. I could list an endless list of other tasks that are accelerated because of this information system. Yet, back then, people still doubted the power of the World Wide Web. In fact, Tim Berners Lee, the inventor of the web, was first rejected when he presented his idea. There was also a great deal of resistance, as skeptics were worried about the adverse effects on the economy and society as a whole. 

In his article, Sergey Galyonkin, recalls trying to raise venture capital for the world’s first internet advertising company in 1995, and couldn’t find a single investor. Nobody believed it would take off, but in a matter of five years, that quickly changed. 

If we had a looking glass into the future we would see that emerging technologies will become an integral part of our lives– much like the Internet and Web are today. AR and VR will follow a similar trajectory to that of the World Wide Web.  

There are definitely skeptics in this space too, with distress over a plausible “hyper-reality” if we merge AR with our current world. Although it is important to take these potential issues into account, we will certainly develop ethics around interactive technology as we move forward. 

Emerging tech will transform industries across the globe. In particular, our education system, which has not radically changed in decades. Children thrive in an environment where they can tap into their creativity– and technology has the ability to customize experiences for each individual student and their learning needs. As computers and iPhones are strictly virtual, augmented reality combines both real and virtual content. Learning could be much more engaging if a student could put on a set of glasses and interact with a multi-dimensional image of the inside of a cell or a chemical element. 

Galyonkin reiterates that “Virtual Reality holds the promise to be even more transformative than the flat Web was — reaching into every segment of every market and remaking it to be virtually accessible”.  He mentions virtual reality touching industries like real estate, eCommerce, and entertainment.

Can we draw similarities to the rise of the World Wide Web and emerging technology? I like to think so. There will always be resistance to change and the unknown, but in the end, we will see how humans and technology can thrive together to create an exciting and transformative future.

The Immersive Museum

The Immersive Museum

Imagine a museum experience where you can learn and discover new things from a completely different lens. Exhibitions and art installations can be brought to life in unique and exciting ways, while complex art pieces can be better understood– all with the use of augmented reality (AR). 

We are not far off from getting to experience this ourselves today. Museums are beginning to take major steps towards using augmented reality for better and immersive learning and exploration. 

Interactive technology, such as augmented reality, will take museums to the next level. Per an article by Kadenze,  “By adapting technology like augmented reality and interactive exhibitions, museums have reached a new era of education and accessibility.”

The adoption of AR can also enable museums to leverage the technology to attract more visitors and give their patrons a whole new level of experience. The experience of walking up to an exhibit and potentially feeling disconnected or confused is rapidly changing thanks to advanced immersive technology. 

According to Kadenze, current museums, such as the San Francisco Museum of Art, are employing AR, “These playful extensions make art history accessible to a new generation of tech-savvy millennials and children alike.” The often daunting subjects of history and science can be presented in a creative and user-friendly way. Augmented reality has the potential to facilitate educational experiences in museums around the world and bring history and art to life.

Augmented reality has the power to effectively tell stories. Oftentimes, artwork has an elaborate and intriguing message just waiting to be told. Digital overlay can convey an artist’s message or motivations while captivating the individual. Emerging technology can also re-create history or tell a story from across the world. 

According to Kadenze, Google Arts and Culture has paved the way for making virtual museum tours available by partnering with major cultural institutions such as the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. “The opportunity to step into art museums around the world lets anyone discover the nuanced ways each culture interprets historical and contemporary art anywhere.” It is thrilling to know that immersive technology can create connections across the globe that weren’t possible before.

Museums of the 21st century will be engaging, exciting, and powerful. Kadenze makes a strong point that the museum experience no longer has to be a solitary moment, and instead can open opportunities for unexpected interactions that stay with visitors outside of museum walls. Future generations will have the pleasure of experiencing museums like never before. Technology has the potential to disrupt existing systems for the better while creating more opportunities for learning and imagination.



How do you think immersive technology will benefit museums in the future? 


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