One of the most interesting product demos on display at Google I/O this year was a virtual sky diving simulation built using eight separate computers running Chrome, along with a Kinect-like motion sensor made by ASUS called the Xtion Pro. The Maps Dive experiment was created by Portland-based independent digital agency Instrument.
Developer Ben Purdy explained that they built the impressive tech demo to show what’s now possible with Chrome and how it can be used to create an amazingly rendered multi-display experience that looks like you’d expect it to be powered by current-gen gaming hardware instead of just a loose assortment of lightweight Linux-based computers running the kind of code that web developers are already comfortable with.
Maps Dive provided an experience that seemed at least as accurate and sensitive as your typical Kinect game. Purdy said that it’s really just an early example of things that could be built with the computers we already have, as well as mobile devices. Considering how far Chrome already reaches, imagining this type of experience running on even low-cost Chromebooks and Android tablets does open up a lot of possibilities.