Wired Science: Google Experiments With 5 New Web Connected Installations In London

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This isn’t quite on the same level as Google’s Project Glass experiment, but Google today launched a set of five physical installations housed in London’s Science Museum. These installations, which users anywhere can control remotely, are meant to “inspire people around the world by showcasing the making that the Internet makes possible.” While Google doesn’t mention this explicitly in its post, chances are that the launch of this exhibition was timed to coincide with the Olympics in London.

All of these tools, of course, work best in Chrome, though they should also work well in other browsers like Firefox that support WebGL and other advanced browser technologies.

The most interesting – and maybe also the most fun – of these installations is the Universal Orchestra. This tool lets you collaboratively make music on the web in the browser (using WebSockets), as well as by remote controlling the instruments in the Science Museum. Given the English’s love for standing in line and the fact that the instruments are located in London, it doesn’t come as a surprise that users have to queue up and wait for their turn to control the physical instruments.

Also interesting is the Teleporter tool, which gives you a live 360-degree view of a bakery in North Carolina, an aquarium in Cape Town and the world’s largest model railroad in Hamburg.

Another experiment allows users online to take a picture of themselves using their webcam and send it over to a number of robots in London who will then draw their portraits.

The last two experiments are a bit more pedestrian. One allows users to perform what is basically a highly visual traceroute to image search results and the other gives users the ability to see the snapshots that people have taken in the Teleporter experiment.

Entry to the museum (and the web site) is free.