First, Robyn brought us her Twitter-centric interactive music video, but Arcade Fire has taken the idea to a completely different level.
The indie-pop band has teamed up with Google to create “The Wilderness Downtown,” a “Google Chrome experiment” showcasing the awesome capabilities of HTML5.
You start off by entering the address of your childhood home, and as the video progresses, it uses that address to incorporate maps and Google Streetview imagery into the video, then alters that imagery with CGI.
It’s truly amazing to witness a music video create such an intimate and personal experience for each individual viewer, and there’s something breathtaking and extremely satisfying about watching swarms of CGI trees sprout up in your hometown’s downtown streets. And it’s nice to see someone harness HTML5 in such an artistic manner.
Because browser support for HTML5 features is still extremely limited, and because it was built to be viewed in Google Chrome, the “Wilderness Downtown” experience works best in Chrome, but should also work well in Safari.
HTML5 might not be well-known or appreciated in the mainstream yet, but projects like this could definitely help it on its way to becoming the new standard. And if you were looking for another reason to ditch your old, non-compliant browser (*cough* Internet Explorer *cough*), you might have just found it.