William Gibson and the 'Real World Web'

By Nora Young

Gartner, Inc. released its annual technology trend report on Tuesday. Among the top 10 "strategic" technologies is what they're dubbing the 'real world web,' meaning "places where information from the web is applied to the particular location, activity or context in the real world. It is intended to augment the reality that a user faces, not to replace it as in virtual worlds."

The idea of the real world web, often called Augmented Reality or The Internet of Things, suggests that we stop thinking about the internet as something that exists in a separate 'cyberspace', and instead think of it as distributed around our real world environment.

It's a potentially powerful emerging technology, but what shape will it take?

On my technology show, Spark, on CBC Radio One and online, we're taking a two-part look at the Future of the Internet. If you're interested in a sneak preview, you can hear my entire interview with science fiction author William Gibson. He discusses the blurring line between the virtual and the real, and why cyberspace has turned inside out - you can hear it here.