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A new edition of the Web Summit ended last week. With more than 71,000 people and more than 2,200 startups, this edition was a great success. This year, the thematic star of the «Davos des Geeks» was the Web3. As Sébastien Borget, COO of The Sandbox put it so well, “this year the Web Summit should be renamed the Web3 Summit.” But of course, topics such as artificial intelligence, mobility, health, sustainable development, trade and fashion were discussed with over 1,000 speakers who came to share their expertise.

Beyond the buzz the reality of the Web3

Yes, the Web3 continues to make the buzz even though the global ecosystem has been a bit rowdy lately. The world of entrepreneurship is building this future of the Internet around blockchain technology. The goal? Bring transparency, trust and potentially give users a hand in monetizing their data. The startup Pool Data, with its concept of «share to earn», proposes a new way to monetise data with «datas unions». Users share their data through “datas unions” and are rewarded for that sharing. Sweatcoin is a very successful data union, with over 100 million users. They share their physical activity data there in exchange for a fee with the application token.

Web Summit startups have made NFTs the tool of tomorrow for businesses. The Polish startup Doxychain offers tokenization of corporate documents to ensure their security and authentication. This tokenization is also very useful to bring transparency in donations to associations. It is with actors like the startup Mirdad that perhaps tomorrow, there will be perfect transparency on the elections of our leaders. This is what the Portuguese company Irva wants to do. For Julian Holguin, CEO of Doodles, in the near future, everyone will use NFTS without knowing it. Indeed, according to him, blockchain will become massively popular, just as the Internet can be today.

The entertainment market is probably one of the sectors that will benefit massively from this NFTS technology, including ticketing. This was proposed by BAM Ticketing in Lisbon. Last July, tickets for Ed Sheeran’s concert at the Stade de France all had a digital twin registered in the blockchain as a token. This NFT ensured the authenticity of the tickets, while allowing fans to keep a lifetime memory. It is therefore very logical that this type of use should take place in amusement parks, museums, stadiums and more generally in tourism.

While everyone talks about NFTs on Instagram or Twitter, the American startup Taki has already launched a social network on the blockchain. It remunerates its users and content creators in cryptocurrencies. Taki already has 850,000 users, after only a few months of existence.

The Web3 also promises to be very useful for the environmental cause. Planetwatch is a good example of this: it rewards its users who monitor air quality and share data on their platform. These are recorded in the blockchain, which guarantees total transparency. They provide a cost-effective solution for cities to measure air quality and pollution peaks. Users all have an NFT to identify them and allow them to access rewards on the Planetwatch website.

In finance, Valhalla Network aims to create the first community of decentralized banking network. This network will be owned and managed by the community, thanks to an organization that is both autonomous and decentralized. Another way to rethink mutualism at the time of the Web3.

In the mobility also, the Web3 invites itself with Carchain which proposes to tokenize the life diary of cars. The aim is to provide transparency in the care and maintenance of the latter.

Through this multitude of projects and startups, it is clear that the blockchain is pre-empting the life of industries and, at the same time, that of consumers.

The metaverse in search of identity

The metaverse has obviously been addressed many times. Whether for the industry with Siemens, or for entertainment, with Improbable, Yuga Labs or The Sandbox.

Yuga Labs came to explain that he wanted to become the Disney of metavers. On the other hand, Improbable wants to create an open source metavers not belonging to any company. When we talk about metaworms, we often refer to avatars that, as time goes by, become true extensions of users.

According to an R/GA study conducted in the USA, 68% of respondents believe that their avatar allows them to express a hidden part of their personality. And 56% say they have a real attachment to their avatar. Moreover, perhaps tomorrow we will be able to find love thanks to our tokenised avatars, as the startup NYX Soulmate is about to propose; another way to rethink dating applications.

Mobility in the transition phase

Mobility is a topic that is always present at the Web Summit. This year, nothing very new for autonomous cars but some bluffing solutions for the power supply of electric cars.

Storedot has developed a new generation of electric batteries capable of charging 160 km of range in 5 minutes flat. Storedot aims to create a 100% rechargeable battery in 5 minutes by 2032. For its part, the German manufacturer Sonos Motors has come to present the latest advances of its vehicle. It is covered with 465 mini photovoltaic sensors capable of giving 50 km of autonomy to this new generation electric vehicle, ideal for moving in an urban environment. The manufacturer confirmed that 42,000 pre-orders have been made in recent months. Given the current energy context, this is a real boon and pre-orders will certainly continue to increase.

A Web Summit without a flying taxi would not be a successful show. That’s why Eve Mobility came to present its vision of urban air transport with its eVotls. A vision that became reality when United Airlines ordered 30 flying taxis in order to make connections between the various airports of major American cities. NEOM, the titanic project of the city of the future in Saudi Arabia, has also placed an order to make it easier for residents to get around this 170 km long city.

Automation of creativity

We had many expectations around the solutions of generative artificial intelligences which, in recent weeks, are much talked about. Very few startups were present to discuss this topic outside of Hechicer, which makes it possible to transform a text (or prompt) request into 3D video. It’s just bluffing. Tomorrow it’s quite possible that we can create a virtual world by text request. With this technology, the No Code trend will enter a new era. An era in which to develop a mobile app or website may be by voice or by prompt.

Regarding fashion, Yona proposes to use AI to create future clothing collections. Generative AI will permeate many businesses and are the future of content creation, according to Nathalie Monbiot, head of strategy at HourOne, who says that “90% of content will be generated by AI in 5 to 7 years.

The 2022 edition projected participants into what could be the digital world of tomorrow through Web3 and artificial intelligence. Much remains to be done and we are only at the beginning of this new era.

As an expert in emerging technologies, Nicolas travels to innovation shows around the world to spot and analyse the new trends.
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