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Google Chrome Web Lab: 5 Interactive Experiments

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Google launches 5 interactive experiments in an attempt to show the world the power of the internet and in the bargain prove the power and capabilities of Google Chrome, Google’s web browser, in supporting this brave new world of Web 2.0.

The internet is the best thing to happen to the world of computing. As the years progressed our computers became smarter, more efficient and less space consuming; even the web evolved at a fast paced. From just being a connection between computers it became an intelligent, interactive platform for information sharing, collaborative and user-centred design; it has also expanded to include web applications that are functional and entertaining. Web 2.0 allowed users to do even more with the advent of social media that led to the progressive spread of ideas through the cyberspace. One name that’s stood by and experienced/ stimulated this change in the web is the search engine giant Google. Google’s reach in the field of the web is ever expanding; the company has an active presence in many areas of the web like search, social media, web browsing, etc.

Google’s readiness to innovate in the field of technology is pretty evident with its constant exploration and research. Recently, Google has launched 5 interactive experiments to showcase the power of the modern web and how its web browser, Google Chrome, can provide users the best experience online. It is also exhibiting these 5 interactive experiments in London at the Science Museum. Google Chrome Web Lab’s 5 interactive experiments namely Universal Orchestra, Data Tracer, Sketchbots, Teleporter and Lab Tag Explorer work towards getting people involved and interested in the modern web. The experiments pique the intrinsic and childlike curiosity of the visitor.

The link to the website: http://www.chromeweblab.com/

Here’s what I feel about Google Chrome Web Lab’s interactive experiments:

Before I start off with talking about the experiments, I’d like to talk about the Lab Tag. Each visitor to the Google Chrome Web Lab website gets a unique individual tag. The one below is me by the way, cool right?

Google ChromeWeb Lab 5 Interactive Experiments Done by Google

  • Universal Orchestra: This is an interactive, real-time collaboration based experiment where visitors can play music. I really enjoyed it as I got to play some harmonious music with people I’d not met; mimicking the way we interact online with people across the globe. The visual interface is also easy to grasp and no skill of an instrument is needed. The session can be recorded and shared on social networking sites. Universal Orchestra shows us how the internet supports real-time collaboration instead of a limited two-way interaction. Google uses Websockets to power Universal Orchestra; Websockets identify the note being played and convey the information to the browser to play the note. Note.js, a software that helps write scalable internet applications, serves as the web server and enables real-time musical conversations.
  • Teleporter: Teleporter allows live streaming in HTML5, a new technology by Google. The visitor is allowed to see three locations around the world through the HTML5 videos that are streamed live. Teleporter uses WebGL, a Web-based Graphics Library that’s present in modern day browsers like Chrome, that folds a flat widescreen panoramic video to give it a 360 degree perspective using small programs called Shaders. All this makes you view the videos live and in real-time. I didn’t get the gravity of the technology and felt that the term ‘Teleporter’ was loosely used.
  • Sketchbots: This would be the coolest and the most entertaining experiment for vain social media narcissistic users who love to admire at their beautiful faces. The Sketchbot takes an image of you using your webcam and a robot etches it out. Already excited are we? Up till now browsers were unable to allow the functionality of drawing, but with HTML5 this is possible to do. HTML5 has Canvas using which one can draw easily and without the need of additional softwares. HTML5 is responsible for the beautiful looking websites that we see nowadays (I’d featured a few HTML5 websites a while ago, click here to view them).
  • Data Tracer: With Data Tracer, you can find the location of the source of the data that you search for. A search bar is present on this page where you can find a piece of data. After which the source is located on the world map, that’s contoured in polygons, through a nice animation. This is possible to do using WebGL and Tracerroute, both supported by modern browsers like Chrome. I find no purpose for it, unless you want to find someone who’s uploaded something malicious about you online and you want to whack him/her.
  • Lab Tag Explorer: Lab Tag Explorer uses data visualization to creatively show all the interactions between the visitors of the museum and the Google Chrome Web Lab site. The Lab Tag that one receives on visiting the website/ museum is what is visualized. The technology behind the data visualization is the utilization of the V8 Engine (no bike aficionados, it’s not the V8 Engine you’re picturing) that Chrome possesses.  The V8 Javascript Engine converts codes to words and makes browsing effortless. The visualizations are possible due to web programs like Web Workers and a graphics package called Three JS.

It’s obvious that Google Chrome is being pushed by with Google Chrome Web Lab (it’s called Chrome Web Lab for a reason). The same website looks dry and mundane in Firefox, urging a person to download the Google Chrome Web browser. The website is unresponsive at times and takes time to load, but that will be the case of a website showing such epic interactive experimentation. The website is a must watch and enthusiasts should also visit the Science Exhibition in London.

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