Google brings hobbits, dragons and dwarves to our screens

Summary:It's geeky, we admit. But the latest Google experiment does show how far technology has come within the last decade.

The Hobbit. A classic, followed by a series that as a child lost me once I reached the Two Towers. However, if you're a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, in the latest Google Chrome experiment, you can explore Middle Earth online.

Inspired by the upcoming motion picture "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," the tech giant has used modern web technology to bring the characters and world to life.

Developed by North Kingdom in collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, users of the Chrome web browser can access the interactive version of Middle Earth using their PC, tablet or browser.

At the moment, you can access a number of locations, including Trollshaw Forest, Rivendell and Dol Guldur -- with more due to be added within the next few weeks -- meet the characters, learn about their history and even go on a survival game to test your knowledge of the fantasy book.

The graphics were created with CSS3 and WebGL, which have been used in previous Chrome experiments. The audio effects have been delivered through the Web Audio API, which is now supported on both Chrome for Android and Chrome for iPhone and iPad.

Want to explore the newest Google Chrome experiment? Check it out.

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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