August 19, 2013Published by: Anton Perreau

Google gets global with Edinburgh Festival

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It's been years since we saw the laugh-o-meter appear on a screen, but this year Google has brought it back through an unlikely online medium. The Edinburgh Fringe festival attracts people from around the globe, no surprise then that it's difficult to find a hotel room or even air-bed to crash during the festival. For the 2013 festival, Google has teamed up with Comic Relief to share many of the comedy shows from the festival through Google Hangouts.

Through these Google Hangouts, users can experience the shows live, after which they're welcomed to donate to the cause, all based upon how much they laughed - through the magic of a real (not rigged) laugh-o-meter. To add to the real comedy-show experience, viewers can be viewable by the comedian on stage, or invisible - depending on how brave they're feeling. As Piers Fawkes outlines,

The collaboration is a unique way to use digital technology to create an immersive experience whilst also encouraging donations by making viewers aware of how much they enjoyed the show (that they just watched for free) and how easy making a donation would be.

We think its a great way to bring a historic festival into the digital age, by adding an extra element of giving to it. To see how this works, see the video below:

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