Search engine giant Google is showing off the power of the internet with a series of exhibitions at the Science Museum in London. The exhibits combine art and science as well as people’s offline interactions with the online world.Dubbed the Web Lab, the exhibition in the basement area of the museum (where all the fun stuff is normally kept), consists of five experiments that help us to “discover the power of the internet while we’re on the internet.”
The search company has five physical installations in the museum: Universal Orchestra, Data Tracer, Sketchbots, Teleporter and Lab Tag Explorer.
The experiments allow visitors in both in the museum and on the internet to take part in such experiments as collaborating on music compositions in real time or having their portrait drawn by a robot.
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. The Data Tracer is a tool to trace where in the world online information is physically store. The Teleporter is a series of Web-enabled periscopes, through which users can instantly access the world, including an undersea kelp forest in South Africa and a miniature kinetic Earth in Germany.
“By opening up the museum experience to the world online, Web Lab doesn’t play by the usual rules,” said Jayme Goldstein, Google’s product marketing manager for Chrome, “A visitor’s location and museum opening hours no longer matter.”
Google’s Steve Vranakis, Creative Director of Web Lab said: “The internet is incredible. It powers our lives everyday, allows us to explore the globe and lets us communicate with friends the world over. Until now, all this magic has remained locked behind our screens.”
The exhibition opens to the public and is free to enter and has the same opening hours as the main museum while the online version stays open all the time and is scheduled to run until Summer 2013. You can also see more at ChromeWebLab.com.