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February 08, 2013

Behind the Curtain: WebRTC Technology Powers Disney and Google's Oz Experience

This country has had a love affair with L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz for more than 100 years. From dozens of books and comic books set in the land, to a wickedly popular Broadway show and, of course, beloved movies, we have traveled down the Yellow Brick Road to the land of munchkins and witches over and over again. And now, with the forthcoming release of the new Oz: The Great and Powerful movie, coming in March, Google and Disney have teamed up to take us there through the Chrome Browser. And, rather than using a hot air balloon or a handy tornado, WebRTC technology is one of the secrets to getting there.

Disney has teamed up with Unit 9 to create the “Find Your Way to Oz” experience for Google Chrome. Using HTML5, visitors to the land will get to experience an interactive, 3D adventure. The application is available on tablets and smartphones as well.

In the app, Oz fans can compose tunes on a music box and get trailers and previews for the upcoming flick. One other exciting feature of the app is the ability to link up your device’s microphone and camera in order to put yourself in the Oz photo booth. This little trick is not based on the magic of the ruby slippers, but rather cutting-edge WebRTC technology.

"The photo booth and zoetrope were built using the getUserMedia feature of WebRTC, which grants webpages access to your computer’s camera and microphone, with your permission,” said Christos Apartoglou, marketing manager at Google.

So WebRTC technology can do more than just allow us to videoconference with our friends seamlessly through our browsers, but it can help us travel to Oz as well. That is some pretty great and powerful magic right there. And we’ve had it all the time…

Edited by Rich Steeves
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