Google engineer creates Great Glass Elevator

If astral travel feels just too much like hard work, Google’s come up with an answer – and there isn’t even any advertising.

Company engineer Jason Holt (we love the beard) has been messing around on company time, as you do, and come up with something that we have to admit outclasses the paperclip sculpture we just created.

With just a little judicious scrounging from the stationery cupboard – don’t worry, Jase, we won’t tell – he’s created what he calls Liquid Galaxy, and has been showing it off this week at the Technology Entertainment Design 2010, on now in Long Beach and Palm Springs in California.

It’s basically a small chamber – he refers to it rather sweetly as a gazebo – with LCD screens instead of glass panels. He and his mates then modified a video player to play sequences of Street View shots.

Wahoo! It’s like being in a Great Glass Elevator.

“The effect was pretty stunning: all of a sudden, flying around in Google Earth really felt like flying, and exploring the ocean trenches was like piloting a submarine,” he says. “When you splashed through the sea surface you cringed slightly, expecting to get wet.”

Watch this demo – but not after eating.