They can sing, they can play, they can dance, they can spell your name out in feet on the Internet—Ok Go is a talented bunch whose new video showcases their creative and technical prowess. The LA indie rock band is probably best known for their treadmill-powered video for “Here it Goes Again” which went viral on YouTube in 2006. The band followed up in 2010 with the video for “This Too Shall Pass” featuring the amazing Rube Goldberg machine. They have upped the ante even further this time around, employing a new Internet language to help them communicate their creative vision.
Performance art across multiple browsers
Ok Go has partnered with Google to create an interactive, multi-browser music video which utilizes envelope-pushing capabilities of HTML5. The band is known for its quirky, creative, and highly choreographed videos, and this may be their magnum opus. The video is for the single “All is Not Lost” from from Of the Blue Color of the Sky (2010). It’s basically an increasingly complicated human kaleidoscope dance, featuring the awesomely talented Pilobolus troop. But one browser cannot contain the talents of this troop—as the video progresses, dancers appear in a grid of separate browsers which expand and contract, and move along with the dancers’ gestures. The kicker is this: If you go to the video’s designated page, you can type in a message that the dancers will spell out (with their bodies!) towards the end of the video. ExtremeTech reports that Google, who partnered with OK GO on the project, had their Japan Team heavily involved with the project. The band hoped that the video for “All is Not Lost” might become a message of hope for those dealing with the aftermath of the Tōhoku earthquake. Aw, sweet and talented!
So what’s the deal with HTML5?
Google has also gotten behind HTML5. Its Chrome Experiments is pumping out some impressive stuff, but Google Chrome is currently the only browser that supports these HTML5 projects, as well as the HTML5 driven developments of other companies. AngryBirds, for example, released a browser version of the game using HTML5, which only works on the most current version of Chrome. Tech commentators, such as ExtremeTech, and the Wall Street Journal’s TechEurope, have been quick to point out that Google’s dominance over the HTML5 market limits the “openness” of the new code.
Concerned commentators may be getting ahead of themselves. HTML5 is still relatively young and the online community will most certainly develop standards that will democratize the language on the web. Meanwhile, someone needs to showcase the capabilities of this technology, and if Google has the resources, the more power to them. Does this mean trouble for Adobe Flash? Perhaps...but isn’t it so cool that, without downloading a plug-in, we can write our name in feet across nine different browser? For a society flooded by a constant stream of info, products, and gadgets, “cool” is certainly significant—it means you’ve caught our attention. So go on Google, let's see what this HTML5 is made of.