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chrome web labGoogle is rather keen on extolling the virtues of the InterWebs to us all. Its reasons for doing so are rather obvious – without the Web Google wouldn’t even exist, let alone be a global company worth billions of dollars – but we appreciate the effort regardless. Google is also keen to promote its Web browser Chrome, so its latest venture, titled Web Lab, is an effort to educate and promote at the same time.

Chrome Web Lab is a set of five experiments that can be tested both in the real world as a live experiment in the Science Museum – one of the best museums in London 10 Essential Websites For Visiting London 10 Essential Websites For Visiting London London is a great city to visit. I should know, having lived on the outskirts of it for 30 years before I upped sticks and headed north to Manchester, another great British city. London is... Read More , especially for geeks – and in the online world via Chrome. You can try to take part using an alternate browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer, but I had no joy until I switched to Chrome. Google is nothing if not canny.

Web Lab allows you to “see the magic of the web brought to life through 5 Chrome Experiments.” The experiments in question, as detailed below, are Universal Orchestra, Teleporter, Sketchbots, Data Tracer, and Lab Tag Explorer. Each experiment features an interactive element, but to fully take part in all of them you have to set up, or sign into, an account.

Universal Orchestra

chrome web lab

Universal Orchestra is pretty self-explanatory, with you taking a role in an orchestra made up of different people both in the Science Museum and online. You choose an instrument from the following – temple blocks, steel tongue drum, crotales, vibraphone, drums, marimba, kalimba, and mixed percussion – and then choose when to play your notes to add to the global symphony. This experiment is designed to demonstrate real-time collaboration on the Web. And it’s also a lot of fun.



google chrome web lab

Teleporter features live feeds from locations around the world, and you get to choose which you want to visit, albeit virtually. I chose the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa, and was transported there instantly via a camera showing a 360-degree vista from literally (underwater) inside the aquarium. This experiment is designed to demonstrate compression and how the Web allows you to travel anywhere in the world instantly for a spot of sightseeing.


google chrome web lab

Sketchbots is by far the most interesting experiment in the Web Lab. After you give Chrome permission to access your webcam, it takes a picture of you and then processes it, finally vectorizing it into something similar to what you can see in the image (of my beardy self) below. After asking for further permission, the sketchbot will then draw the image out in the real world that was sourced online. This experiment is designed to demonstrate the use of programming language and how it allows the Web to connect to physical objects.

google chrome web lab

Data Tracer

weblab google

Data Tracer isn’t a very exciting experiment, but it’s important nonetheless. You search for an image using keywords and you’re shown a series of pictures and asked to click on one or more. Web Lab then visually shows you where that image is located in the real world and how long it took to find and retrieve it online. I chose Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek The 10 Best Sites To Go On A Star Trek & Become A Trekkie The 10 Best Sites To Go On A Star Trek & Become A Trekkie Let's live the dream within the other universe we know - the World Wide Web and see what it offers the Trekkie and their love for Star Trek. Read More because, well, he’s awesome. This experiment is designed to demonstrate how data travels across the Web. It does so at a scarily fast rate that is easy to take for granted.

weblab google

Lab Tag Explorer

weblab google

Lab Tag Explorer brings all the previous experiments together by presenting all the data obtained in a visual format. The little shapes cascading out of the Web Lab logo (as seen at the top of this article) are revealed as being representative of individual users and their creations. This experiment is designed to demonstrate how easy it is to find and explore data online. Which is obviously both a blessing and a curse, and something Google is partly responsible for.

chrome web lab


The Chrome Web Lab from Google offers a fascinating look at certain aspects of the Internet that we are all aware of but rarely take any notice of. All of the experiments further cement the belief by many (myself included) that the Web is the greatest invention of all time, and one that will keep evolving over time to an end point with unlimited potential.

If you visit the Chrome Web Lab I’d love to hear what you think of it. Is there one experiment in particular you found fascinating? Whether you enjoy it or not you may also want to check out Cube, a Web game based on Google Maps previously featured Improve Your Knowledge Of Google Maps With A Fun Game Called Google Cube Improve Your Knowledge Of Google Maps With A Fun Game Called Google Cube When was the last time you remembered how easy it is now is to find the best way to get from A to B thanks to Google Maps? As someone who grew up in a... Read More here on MakeUseOf.

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  1. Heru Saputra
    August 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    looks funny for Sketchbots :)

  2. Ben Mordecai
    August 25, 2012 at 3:39 am

    Yeah these are pretty cool

  3. AP
    August 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I liked Telereprter and Data Tracer.

  4. muotechguy
    August 24, 2012 at 7:48 am

    The orchestra thing is pretty amazing, but sadly the sketch thing is broken right now. Shame, I always wanted to see my face in sand...

    • Krysia Baker
      August 24, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Yes, I'll definitely be checking back in to try the Sketch Bots! Teleporter was fun.

    • Krysia Baker
      August 24, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Yes, I will definitely check back in to try the Sketchbot. Teleporter was fun.

    • Dave Parrack
      August 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      We'll have to take a trip to the seaside one day to make your dream come true ;)

  5. Shakirah Faleh Lai
    August 23, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Interested with some experiments and love to spend time there.

  6. Nart Barileva
    August 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    The great thing about this is that it shows you how to recreate these experiments on your own

  7. Benjamin Glass
    August 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I've already tried this--the coolest experiment by far is the Sketchbots, mainly because I have absolutely no musical talent!

    • Dave Parrack
      August 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      I found I didn't need any musical talent with Universal Orchestra!

  8. GrrGrrr
    August 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    looks interesting, thanks