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- 03/28/2017

How to fool your friends into thinking you’re cultured

TKS News

The consumption of music was revolutionised with the launch of Shazam.

And now an art gallery equivalent has been created which plans to replicate its industry-changing success with a similar model.

Ever been to an art gallery and struggled for more information about the works? Had to forfeit your smartphone and Hi-Fi noise cancelling headphones in favour of a second-hand audio guide and a pre-selected tour?

Using advanced image recognition and Augmented Reality (AR), SMARTIFY provides instant access to inspiring art commentary, straight to your smartphone. 

Technology entrepreneurs in London have devised a smartphone app called Smartify which uses image recognition software to scan, identify and save digital copies of artist creations onto a user’s device. 

In addition to offering a detailed description of paintings, drawings and sketches, it will work across any gallery with digitised content.

In direct competition with venues offering audio tours, it will also provide video commentary.

Officially launching in May across Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and London’s Wallace Collection, it will similarly cover selected works at the Louvre in Paris and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

However, people can enjoy art without visiting a specific venue.

Just like musicians can now identify a song they hear on the radio, Smartify users can decipher art remotely. 

Like Shazam, Smartify will identify artwork from a library of digitally finger-printed creations.

Mutually beneficial in design, however, museums who opt-in for the service can assess demographic information about users and the type of art they’re interested in.  

‘We believe the app is something quite remarkable and will completely transform the way people engage with art,’ the product’s co-founder, Thanos Kokkiniotis, explains on the product’s official site. 

There, he also describes it as ‘a social enterprise’.

‘It’s a mission is to help people make meaningful connections with art and to support global visual arts organisations – public and commercial.

‘We’re focused on protecting artist and museum intellectual property and ensure profits are channelled back to the public institutions we serve.’ 

The app was first tested with a soft launch at London’s Cartoon Museum in May 2016. 

It can be currently used at:

 -The Wallace Collection

– The Rijksmuseum

– Sculpture in the City, London 

– Laguna Art Museum in Los Angeles

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