The online & the physical world are slowly merging. You can already carry out number of tasks in real life via the internet. Things like monitoring your house on internet via a webcam when you are out are not at all surprising. However, in most cases things like these are personalized services and setup in your private space.
Now, a new experiment launched by Google Chrome labs is taking this concept a bit further. Called Chrome Web Lab, this experiment allows users to carry out activities in real world, which would not have been possible without being physically present at that location.
Chome Web Lab is basically set of five physical installations housed in the Science Museum in London. Visitors on chromeweblab.com can interact with them in person at the museum, or from anywhere in the world . By opening up the museum experience to the world online, Web Lab doesn’t play by the usual rules — a visitor’s location and museum opening hours no longer matter.
So you could be sitting in any part of the world in front of your computer and physically carry out activities on these installations.
For example among the 5 experiments, Sketchbot is one of them which will carve a line drawing of your face on sand. The user needs to click a picture (using a webcam) and submit it to the sketchbot. The picture will get into the queue and when the queue is over, the sketchbot will start working on your sketch on sand. You can watch it happening live through live streaming. I tried doing this just now and was pleasantly surprised how well the whole thing worked.
Along with Sketchbot, there are 4 other interesting experiments – Universal Orchestra, Data Tracer, Teleporter and Lab Tag Explorer.
From Google Chrome’s point of view, they are trying to showcase the capabilities of their modern web browser – Chrome. For example, the Universal Orchestra experiment uses WebSockets to demonstrate real time collaboration as people from around the world make music together on custom-built robotic instruments housed in the Science Museum.
I urge you to give it a try and let us know your experience.