Here's Looking At You, Kid !!! Insurers Should Look Forward to Web 4.0

We all know the web is in a constant state of change, of evolution. I’ve thought of where the web has come from, where it is, and where it is headed in terms of groupings of capabilities. To me, right now, I see four groupings:

  • Web 1.o – what we had initially and it was all about content. Companies used these capabilities, such as they were, to provide brochureware to clients and prospects who clicked over to their company web site.
  • Web 2.0 – the sweet spot of where we are now and it is all about collaboration. I see the collaboration as having two major flavors – 1) collaboration between people expressed by social networking – and 2) collaboration between software programs expressed by web services
  • Web 3.0 – the contextual web and where we are headed next. The capabilities inherent in the contextual web are semantic technologies which enable the meaning(s) of text data to be understood, managed and analyzed.
  • Web 4.0 – the world of confluence where tangible assets and intangible assets come together in meaningful ways. We see the beginnings of that in some of the apps on the iPhone (and probably on the Blackberry but, alas and aghast, I don’t have one of those.)

Another instantiation of Web 4.0 is augmented reality – wearing goggles that have information available to the person wearing them to better complete various tasks. The Technology Review article the link points to discusses how mechanics can complete their jobs faster and more effectively.

But think about using AR goggles for insurance claims adjudication and management.

Using AR goggles, a claims adjuster could visit a homeowner who is claiming a loss and see both the actual home as it is now after the loss and the home as it was before the loss. The AR goggles could access information from the insurance company’s databases or sources from the web showing detailed information about labor requirements, building materials and costs.

More generally, the AR goggles could show the processes and resources needed to adjudicate the claim in a way that remediates the loss to bring the claimant’s home back to the way it was before the loss event.

Similarly, AR goggles could be used by claim adjusters for automobile claims.

Yes, augmented reality might be as far off as ten years from now but I wouldn’t be surprised if some industries – other than our slow-moving insurance industry – are using AR well before that. Would you?

Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 8:13 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. We don’t have to wait 10 years for augmented reality mobile applications. They’re already here, and they work quite well with GPS & compass-enabled cellphones such as the Nokia N97 and the iPhone 3GS:

    These apps don’t need AR Goggles: they use the phone’s own screen and camera. Thus, I wouldn’t be surprised to see business-oriented applications of AR with cellphones in 2010.

  2. Yes, but…. will we see insurers using augmented reality within ten years? Hopefully yes, but I’m not too sure.

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