Google Brings LEGO to Chrome

Productivity might diminish radically for anyone who uses Chrome, as Google allied with LEGO Australia to bring the famous building bricks to its Web browser.

The ability to construct with LEGO bricks is not a built-in feature of the browser, as is Tetris in uTorrent. It probably would have been nicer to discover this as an Easter egg of Chrome, but still, Google brought some new things to the table, so such details can be neglected.

Build, as the project made by Google and LEGO Australia is known as, is instead available as a Web page. After launching the Web site, each person has the ability to challenge his or her creativity, in the detriment of productivity, as mentioned earlier. They only need to click on the Build button and then they will be assigned a plot that is visible either in 2D or 3D. On the plot they can build anything they want with the 1,000 LEGO bricks they have at their disposal. Besides regular building bricks, people can also integrate doors and windows in their projects, so the final result should look very much like a house.

You might wonder what LEGO Australia had to gain from this cooperation. Well, after finishing the project, you can hit the Publish button and see your creation on the map of Australia. Remember that 8-bit version of Google Maps the company rolled out on April Fools’ Day, this year? It seems that now Google wants to make a LEGO version of the maps. I do not know whether they want to extend this feature beyond Australia, but it certainly would be nice.

As stated on Google’s blog, the company joined LEGO Australia for this project more than just for the sake of entertainment: “Build may look simple, but this collaborative 3D building experience would not have been possible a couple of years ago. It shows how far browser technology has come and how the web is an amazing platform for creativity. We made the bricks with WebGL, which enables powerful 3D graphics right in the browser and demonstrates the upper limit of current WebGL graphics performance. We then mixed in Google Maps (another Aussie invention) so you can put your creation in a LEGO world alongside everyone else’s.”

It’s really awesome when companies decide to showcase their technologies and products in a fun way and I hope that more such examples will be seen in the future.

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