Most Interesting Web Experiments of 2012

By Rob Truglia, Tyson Damman, Stacey Mulcahy & William Jennings

It’s that special time of year where we all gather around the internet, exchange GIFs and reminisce about the year past. Since we’re constantly in the trenches of the internet, some of the folks Big Spaceship dug up the 18 weirdest, most innovative, least ordinary web experiments of 2012. Google led the way in web weirdness this year, enabling over 500 Chrome Experiments. Below we’ve divided our favorite experiments into 4 categories:

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Distort

Particles morph - watch a particles morph into different object.
Infinite, 3D Head Scan - an infinite photo rendering of a head.
Ascii Street View - your street, Asciii style.
Chrome-atic - an experiment in responsive sound.
Floating Shiny Knot - a floating shiny knot anywhere in the world.

Collaborate

Jam with Chrome - collaborate with friends to make music online.
Stanley Piano - combining tweets, technology, and a piano to play music.
Exquisite Forest - draw multi-user art projects.

Play

Happiness Island – bringing Coke’s brand essence to an internet archipelago.
Typing Karaoke - race to type as fast as your favorite song lyrics.
HexGL - an HTML5 racing game.
LovePunks Game - Aboriginal 10-year-olds make a video game.
Staggering Beauty - shake it and see seiizure inducing colors.

Data

The xx – Coexist - tracking how The xx’s second album got shared around the world.
The Evolution of the Web  - an interactive history of the internet.
Wind Map - visualizing wind patterns on the web
One Hour per Second - visualizing the volume of YouTube videos.
100,000 Stars - an interactive visualization of the stellar neighborhood.

What’s next?

Gestures. While these experiments show off the power of the web, the challenge is how to integrate better with user behavior. The release of the Windows 8 touchscreen computer, launch of LeapMotion, and fast-paced development of Chrome are just three things changing the way we interact with our devices. Hopefully, we’ll see more web experiments in 2013 that play to gestures like touch and other body movements.

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