The World Wide Web’s creator wants metaverse VR


The creator of the World Wide Web said he expects virtual reality, and technologies based around a so-called metaverse, to be part of how people interact with his invention in the future.

But in a new interview with Bloomberg Quicktake, British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee also restated his opposition to the world’s biggest technology companies being in control of so much of their users’ personal data.

“People ask about virtual reality, and if the metaverse is going to be the whole future, and the answer is that it’s going to be part of the future,” Berners-Lee said in an interview for an episode of Bloomberg Quicktake’s “Emma Barnett Meets,” airing Wednesday.

“With VR, we’re getting a new media,” he said. “I think you’ll be able to sit between a movie and a VR world of that movie, for example. That’s what I hope.”

The popularity of buzzwords such as Web3 and NFT divide public opinion. Some experts are adamant that retooling the internet’s most important functions are essential for the future of functional democracy, while others mock them as opportunistic cash-grabs. 

Berners-Lee has demonstrated his leaning toward being part of the first group. Last year, his original source code for the web sold at Sotheby’s for $5.4 million in the form of an NFT, a type of smart contract that uses blockchain technology. He’s also co-founder and chief technology officer of Inrupt, a company developing a decentralized data-storage system called Solid, which he promotes as a successor to Web 2.0. 

The inventor said in the new interview that Solid is “like a USB drive in the sky,” but differentiated from cloud computing platforms by offering a “pod” of data storage an individual owns and chooses who to give access to. 

“We got 100,000 creating pods very quickly just to try and understand what it was, and got interest from some big companies,” he said, “but mainly we got incoming from governments.”

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