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Alert the Discovery Channel. I officially spotted a potential yeti at SXSW recently. Not the hairy kind with big feet, but a missing link nonetheless.

CJ Gammon, a creative technologist at Adobe, hosted a packed house — with a line out the door — at a session that focused on ways the web can be used to create rich media experiences. His talk, Rich Web Experiences and the Future of the Web, proved two things: The five tool user interface engineering tool does indeed exist and the browser is anything but dead.

Getting Even with Apple

Gammon explained how the web has evolved from a document presentation system to a rich content delivery system. With a nod to his Adobe forbearers, there was a quick mention of what Flash brought to the web. In a somewhat mournful fashion, Gammon described how the rich experiences brought to life by Flash have been all but destroyed by the arrival of mobile — or maybe, more specifically, by Apple's decision to kill Flash.

In response to the onslaught of apps and app stores, anyone who doesn't own an app store has been pushing HTML5 hard in the last few years. These attempts to bring the browser experience back to parity with what is possible within the native app space have been promising to show practical application for the last two years.

In just under an hour, Gammon went through almost 30 different techniques that are now available within HTML5 to make visually significant  browser-based experiences. (You can get an idea of the experiencs in the video below. But navigate directly to the HTML5 presentation  to see the full effects in your browser. Many of the effects are engaged by mousing over areas or clicking in the main body of the presentation.)

Beautiful Browser Experiences 

Gammon showed multiple techniques with interactions that close some of the gaps with native experiences, and others that  leave current app capabilities in the dust. Some of the most powerful and interesting ones below: