For years now, people have been buying real world items online. Either that, or they search for more information online before deciding to buy it at the store.
Books are no exception, and Google has launched its WebGL Bookcase. The new project is part of Google’s Chrome Experiments site and is described there as a way to let you browse through 10,000 books. The experiment uses WebGL and connects to the Google Books API.
The WebGL Bookcase basically makes you feel like you are in front of a real bookcase. There are 28 subjects to choose from. Once you have clicked on a subject, it will take you to the appropriate bookcase. Click on any book you like and the interface will show you the book you selected.
A few clicks more and it will show you the title, author and synopsis of the book. Once you have decided on a book to read, you can click on the Get the Book link and you will be taken to that title’s page on Google Books.
The QR codes that are included in the virtual books come in handy if you want to get the title on your tablet or smartphone.
This new experiment is exciting on two levels.
For one, it uses WebGL technology, which allows browsers to render graphics and animation even without having to use and install plug-ins. This technology is already available on Google’s Chrome browser, but we have seen only a handful of applications, such as Google’s Sketchup service, that makes use of this.
Further, it shows that QR codes are still very much in use and important today. It also shows one of the weaknesses of near-field communication technology. The QR codes are displayed on a computer screen. These codes are snapped and the user would be taken to the URL behind it. This would be impossible to do with NFC.
Here is a video of how it works:
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