5 Awesome Google Chrome Experiments

5 Awesome Google Chrome Experiments

While doing research for one of my articles back in August, I stumbled across something called “Chrome Experiments”. It immediately piqued my interest, and I vowed that one day I would come back and write an article about it. Well friends, today is that day! Also, I may have stayed on the “Journey Through Middle-Earth” experiment a little too long.

Launched in 2009, Google Chrome Experiments is a website that showcases programs, web browser experiments, and artistic projects from around the world. Anyone can submit an experiment, and experiments vary from basic Javascript to VR integrated programs.

So without further ado, let’s check out five of my personal favourite experiments.


stars-google100,000 Stars

This was not the first experiment I came across, but it was the one that caused me to investigate further into Chrome Experiments.  As the name implies, it’s an interactive visualization of 100,000 stars in our stellar neighbourhood. You can go zooming around the galaxy checking out stars like Alpha Centauri, Castor, or Polaris (the North Star). Clicking on a named star also brings up information about its placement, discoverer, and importance.

There’s another experiment called “1 Million Stars”, but it’s understandably a little difficult to run on a normal computer.


tweet-googleA World of Tweets

There are a number of experiments that tap into live data from certain websites. “Nouvelle Vague” uses data from Twitter to create aircrafts with tweets on them that you can ride around on. “Encom Boardroom” represents usage on Wikipedia with an ominous looking screen from the movie Tron. “Social Collider” says it shows the links between topics on Twitter with a massive web of interconnected tweets, but I couldn’t get it to work so it didn’t make the list.

My favourite live data feed experiment has to be “A World of Tweets”. Once you start the experiment, every tweet is represented as a dot falling on to a map of the world. The dots accumulate to show a heat map of where the most tweets are happening. It’s interesting to watch at different times of the day, and during different major events.

Sometimes it can also be a bit surprising. Indonesia was second for usage during the time I had the experiment open.


mid-earth-googleA Journey Through Middle-Earth

Like I said earlier, I spent a large amount of time on this experiment. In my opinion, “A Journey Through Middle-Earth” is the most complete and well-rounded experiment currently on the website. It not only has an interactive, textured map of Middle-Earth, but it also traces the paths of major characters throughout The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies. Clicking on different points of interest shows important scenes from their respective movies as well. I can confidently say you can sink a few hours into this experiment just trying to find every little bit of information about Middle-Earth.

“A Journey Through Middle-Earth” wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if they had just taken the eagles right from the start.


circle-googleCircle Game

Here’s another great way to waste a few hours. This experiment is one of the simplest on the website, while also being one of the most fun. The premise is simple, you start as a small circle surrounded by circles of varying size. Moving over any circle smaller than yourself consumes it and adds it’s mass to your own. Get to close to a bigger circle and it’ll take some of your mass away. Give it a shot, the game is a lot easier than it sounds.

After explaining this game to a co-worker, they showed me the game “Agar.io”. It’s pretty much the same as the Circle Game, except played online with other people.


Virtual Art Sessionsvirtual-google

Many of the experiments on Chrome Experiments are fun, little ideas that are interesting in concept. Some of them were made specifically for the needs of the person who created, like a lot of the programming and design experiments. “Virtual Art Sessions” is one of the few experiments that I feel will completely revolutionize its field.

“Virtual Art Sessions” is actually very simple. It’s a collection of videos featuring artists using VR to create different designs. You can see artist rendered into the VR space, complete with their headset and remote. In the bottom corner you can even see a point-of-view shot of what the artist sees. The really interesting part is that the camera isn’t static, you can move it around to view the scene from any angle.

The videos in this experiment are pre-recorded, but that doesn’t mean live-streaming the same thing isn’t possible. Imagine being able to watch your favourite artist live as they design their next big project in VR space. Automotive companies can invite people to watch as they design next year’s model.

The potential for this technology seems to be limitless, and “Virtual Art Sessions” gives the first glimpse into how the future of design could look.

Now that you know some of my favourites, go check out Google Chrome Experiments for yourself.

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