- The future of browsing will be a 3D immersive ‘World’ experience
- It will solve the discovery issues of current ecommerce web sites
If you had ever worked with mainframe technologies, you probably wondered what the fuss was about when the first web browsers were released.
Mainframes work on a transactional basis. Technically, the entire interaction with a mainframe is to ask something (which in the web world is called a Request) and your program receives an answer (in the web world is called a Response).
In between the mainframe and web world, there was ‘thin-client’ architecture which was the same model again.
In between mainframes and this clients were fat clients. Fat clients are programs which can do complex number crunching using data on the computer in front of you. Common examples are Word, Excel, Access, Desktop Publishing Systems, and most computer games.
So in the 1980s and 90s we had these complex local programs, fat clients, and when the Internet came along, we took a big step backwards. We went from good looking interfaces to white pages with lots of Times New Roman text.
Very recently, browsers have taken advantage of more interaction (using technologies such as Ajax and jQuery) without users needing to refresh a page. It wasn’t that long ago that to use a map inside a web browser that users had to click on a link to see further in one direction, took the user to a different web page. Now, we’re able to zoom in and out and drag a map around and effectively stay on one page.
But we’re all human, and the web browser isn’t good enough. We need to see a 3D style environment to visualise the web.
The first attempt at this was Second Life. In fact Second Life was a very good first attempt as far as technologies go, and big players such as IBM spent a lot of money in the first virtual world if its kind.
Retailers opened stored on Second Life because the shopping experience is more natural n a 3D environment that a single product per page.
Unfortunately, Second Life was too far ahead of its time. It was too early in Internet adoption. The Internet wasn’t as ubiquitous as it has become.
At the time of writing, Google’s Chrome browser is on version 26. It’s sad that after 26 versions, it’s still showing you white pages with text on.