Immersive Web: What If We Felt Internet?

Immersion aims to provide the user with a feeling of presence using sensory capture and rendering technologies: the user feels transported into the digital environment created by digital technologies, to the extent that he feels these virtual digital objects as part of his reality.

On the other hand, digital systems are better and better at detecting and interpreting the behaviors and emotions of their interlocutors, to the extent that humans feel that this system is aware of their presence and interacts voluntarily.

The films Matrix and more recently Ready Player One reflect this idea well: to come between the human sensory receptors and reality in order to create a new world, sometimes called the “metaverse”. This concept has been used for several years for aviation or driving simulators, as well as for amusement parks (L’Extraordinaire Voyage at Futuroscope, for example).

Immersive web follows three generations of the web: from the static 1.0 web that resembles a “display” showcase, to the participatory 2.0 web that integrates users in content creation, and to the so-called “semantic” 3.0 web, which introduces knowledge engineering to structure data.

This fourth generation, “web 4.0” or “immersive web”, must be very accessible thanks to high-speed 5G networks and the Internet of Things (IoT). The coupling of the web and 5G has been leading us since the early 2020s into the era of an “ambient”, pervasive and ubiquitous web, where many objects are connected and communicate autonomously.

Haptic feedback gloves capture tactile sensations and provide them to the user. They are used for training in the manipulation of dangerous equipment, among other things.
XR expo, Unplash, CC BY

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