Google’s Infinite Bookcase

From the Official Google Blog: “Designing an infinite digital bookcase“.

“A digital interface needs to be familiar enough to be intuitive, while simultaneously taking advantage of the lack of constraints in a virtual space. In this case, we imagined something that looks like the shelves in your living room, but is also capable of showcasing the huge number of titles available online—many more than fit on a traditional shelf. With this in mind, we designed a digital bookcase that’s an infinite 3D helix. You can spin it side-to-side and up and down with your mouse. It holds 3D models of more than 10,000 titles from Google Books.

The books are organized into 28 subjects. To choose a subject, click the subject button near the top of your screen when viewing the bookcase. The camera then flies to that subject. Clicking on a book pulls it off the shelf and brings it to the front and center of the screen. Click on the high-resolution cover and the book will open to a page with title and author information as well as a short synopsis, provided by the Google Books API. All of the visuals are rendered with WebGL, a technology in Google Chrome and other modern browsers that enables fast, hardware-accelerated 3D graphics right in the browser, without the need for a plug-in.”

For TechCrunch (“Google’s Infinite Bookcase: An Abstract Browser For Limitless Libraries“) the double helix corkscrew structure conjures up Tower of Babel suspicions. But, here’s a real Tower of Babel made of books.

Either way, it’s a fun thing to play with. Check it out yourself (best used with the Google Chrome web browser): Google Infinite Bookcase.

And here’s a video demo of the Google Bookcase:


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