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Google brings hobbits, dragons and dwarves to our screens

Posting in Technology

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.

— By on November 21, 2013, 4:17 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure