Google’s Chrome Cube Lab takes Rubik’s puzzle online

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, Google brought together a selection of designers, artists and creative coders to create several reinterpretations of the classic puzzle

I Am The Cube by Stewart Smith (stewdio)

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, Google brought together a selection of designers, artists and creative coders to create several reinterpretations of the classic puzzle…

As well as creating today’s Google Doodle – a fully playable digital version of professor Ernő Rubik’s cube – designers from the US and UK have released a series of interactive cubes via the Chrome Cube Lab experiments site at chrome.com.

The experiments make use of Google’s Chrome browser and its web fonts (Rubik was created for the project); three.js (the cross-browser script used to display 3D computer animations); HTML5 and CSS3. The Lab itself is built on Google App Engine, a cloud platform for developing and hosting web applications.

Mark Lundin, one of the team who worked on the project (and the creator of the Light Cube) says that the Doodle cube – “was one of the most technically ambitious and challenging doodle’s to date.

“The experience needed to be as analagous as possible to playing a physical cube, but from a technical perspective, it was important to be as wide reaching as possible,” he says. “The result is an interactive playable cube where users rotate and twist individual slices in a way similar to a real cube.”

The Doodle Cube – and the 12 others on the Chrome Cube site – make use of Cuber, the programmable “cubing framework” which was originally conceived by designer Stewart Smith of stewdio.

Via the Chrome Lab site, users can also request access to the code in order to build their own cube experiments.

Type Cube by Richard The

The 12 experiments include 808 Cube by Ray McClure, Type Cube by Richard The, Light Cube by Mark Lundin, Synth Cube by Felix Turner, Scanwich Cube by Jon Chonko, I Am The Cube by Stewart Smith, Future Cube by Chris Woebken, Game Face by Jay Quercia, Circle Cube by Paul Trillo, Image Cube by Evan You, Fruity by Wade Jeffree, and Static Cube by Steve Rura.

Static Cube by Steve Rura

Synth Cube by Felix Turner

And here’s how professor Rubik himself introduced the next step in his Cube’s journey on the Chrome Cube Lab website:

“The Cube was born in 1974 as a teaching tool to help me and my students better understand space and 3D,” he says. The Cube challenged us to find order in chaos. Since then, technology has made fantastic progress in bringing new possibilities to how we learn and how we tackle bewildering complexity.

“Chrome Cube Lab takes full advantage of that progress by encouraging curiosity and problem-solving skills-the very reason the Cube was created in the first place. I can’t wait to see people learn about three-dimensional objects through their browsers and to test the limits of what is possible when the Cube gets re-jigged using cutting edge web technologies. Cube on!”

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