There are a lot of things I’ll likely never be able to do in my life. I’ll never be an astronaut, because I’m shit at science for starters, and I’m never going to record a world-changing album, because in reality I didn’t get much further than playing The OC soundtrack on the piano. So when a digital experience comes up that allows to you pretend you might be sailing around the moon aboard the Soviet Union Luna 2, say, or to peruse the hallowed studios of Abbey Road among the likes of the Beatles and Tony Bennett, I’m more than happy to take it.
Fortunately for me and my complete lack of expectations Google is making being a low-achiever even easier by making such experiences easier, smooth and more immersive than I’d ever imagined. Their newest venture, designed with Stinkdigital, allows you to move around freely in Abbey Road as you would on Google street maps, but with none of the plodding pace or flickering orange man that looking for your local pub might give you.
Instead Inside Abbey Road is a seamless experience; you can search for various highlighted objects, watch iconic performances by the Beatles and Kate Bush on handy YouTube pop-outs, have a go at mastering with the sound engineering pros and read up on the history of sound. The background sound effects are subtle – a closing door, the tapping of keyboards and footsteps – but create a sense of immersion strong enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It’s a magical experience, and one that’s worth a good ten minutes or so of your time.