This week, Google Chrome launched the Web Lab at the London Science Museum, a year-long installation of five interactive experiments designed to tie the Internet’s otherworldly conceptual presence to something physical. Users can access the experiments while physically at the Science Museum or, and this is key to the installation’s concept, from wherever they are in the world via the Internet.
The experiments include 1) Universal Orchestra, an eight-piece robotic band situated in the London museum, allows people from across the globe to collaborate and make music in real time; 2) Sketchbots, which allows users to snap a picture of their face using webcam, and an robot at the museum will trace the uploaded image in the sand while online users can watch the drawing process over a video feed; And 3) Teleporter, which gives users a visual tour via live camera in places around the world and allows them to take snapshots and share with friends.
Why I’m curious:
We’ve seen initiatives of online collaboration and linking physical with digital. What’s special about this Google’s experiment is the instantaneous 2 way communication, where installations in real life are able to respond to users requests sent online with no delay and display the results simultaneously. It’s also worth noting that when previous initiatives usually require high-tech pieces such as smart phones or emerging platforms, Google’s web lab works all within a browser and stores all kinds of information on the cloud for later access. This lowers the entering barrier technology wise, and therefore increase the potential in mainstream adoption.