An article shared on Sidebar today highlights the mind-blowing power of HTML5. Web developer / Mozilla evangelist David Walsh has collated nine demos that use just native web technologies to show how much can be done in your web browser without the need for plugins like Flash and Silverlight. Here are three of the best.

Canvaslight

The first demo, Zen Photon Garden, lets you draw on a live canvas to the modify the direction of light. All of the calculations are done in real-time; if you're so-inclined you can create some really beautiful images with very little effort. We just wrote our name.

Typeface

The next demo is a little more impressive. It uses a lot of math to create a highly complex animation. It's Helvetica as you've never seen it before: letters wriggle and shift, jostling for position, text is animated, and you can use your mouse to change the viewing angle. As it's native, the demo runs on pretty old hardware without issue, and the source code is there to be hacked and changed on the fly.

Saving the most complex for last, a Chrome Experiment called Gestures + Reveal.JS uses WebRTC and JavaScript to tap into your webcam. It lets you control an interface using gestures while a digitized version of your webcam stream looks on in the background. Sure, this kind of control scheme may have lost some of its novelty since Microsoft released its Kinect sensor, but it's an neat demo, and again, it's one that almost any computer built in the past five years can run without issue.

We can't wait for sites to fully explore the possibilities

There's no doubt that all of the above demos are impressive, as are the others highlighted on Walsh's blog, which include the manipulation of still-playing video, a stunning text animation, and a canvas browser game. What'll really be impressive, though, is if content creators and web designers start using these lightweight yet visually arresting techniques to enhance the websites we read every day.