Latest Chrome 'experiment' goes to Oz

WebRTC. CSS3. WebGL. HTML5. They sound like an alphabet soup of coding languages. But browser makers are creating projects to explain why this apparent gobbledygook is important, and Google's next one puts you on a well-trod yellow brick road.

Google's newest interactive browser "experiment" transports you from your desk to Oz, highlighting cutting-edge browser tech along the way.

Created in conjunction with Disney and the production company Unit9 to help promote the upcoming movie, "Oz the Great and Powerful," the experiment leverages the latest in Web standards to create a browser-based experiment that previously could have been completed only with Adobe Flash.

In the experiment, called Find Your Way to Oz, you can compose music, goof around with a photo booth, and make a short movie with a zoetrope. If you survive the tornado that attempts to whisk you away, the wizard himself reaches through your screen to shake your hand.

Just kidding, Web tech isn't that advanced yet. Instead, you get to watch an exclusive, unreleased clip from the upcoming movie.

The features are built entirely in HTML5. The environment is powered by CSS3 and WebGL, while the zoetrope and photobooth leverage WebRTC's getUserMedia -- which Google and Firefox-maker Mozilla just announced yesterday is ready for cross-browser interactivity. Audio effects come powered by the Web Audio Application Programming Interface (API).

Find Your Way to Oz, the latest Chrome Experiment.

Note that when using the zoetrope and photo booth, the experiment will ask for your permission first. But WebRTC is an indication of how powerful the Web is becoming: your browser can interact directly with your hardware.

Google advises using Chrome with Find Your Way to Oz, and the experiment will warn you when you run it in another browser. However, it ought to work in any modern browser. Google also has built a scaled-down version of Find Your Way to Oz that runs on Chrome for Android and iOS.

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