By Nicole Buckler
Ever been to a gallery and struggled for more information about the artwork? Did you have to forfeit your fancy noise-cancelling headphones in favour of an infophone from 1982? Did you press buttons like maniac on the infophone only for the pre-recorded information to pack it in and not tell you anything? Were you worried that other people may have breathed their scurvy germs all over your infophone?
Well this list of quandaries is now a quaint thing of the past. A new app called Smartify means you can use your own phone as a personal digital curator when in a museum. But you don’t have to just use it in museums, you can break it out anywhere there is art.
The art-lovers/tech-nerds who created the app wanted to enable museums visitors to recognise artwork by scanning them using their smart phone. They then can use the app to uncover great stories behind the artworks. It’s like having your own guide without having to deal with other humans. Introverts, unite!
After using the advanced image recognition, and giving the user the information about the artwork, the app can then choose artworks in a similar style, and take you on a tour according to your own taste. And you know your taste is way better than anyone else’s.
Visitors can then even share personal reflections on social media. And we all know by now, if it isn’t on social media, it didn’t happen. Using this app will increase your knowledge and make you look damn good.
Now museum goers don’t have to fight tourists to read the tiny information plaques on the wall… that you can’t read anyway because more tourists are breathing on you from behind, trying to repel you away from it so they can have a go. Ew.
The app is available to both iOS and Android users. Thanos Kokkiniotis, CEO of Smartify said: “Every day, 1.2 billion photos are uploaded to the top four social sites with art venues featuring heavily. Smartify wants to reframe the use of smartphones in museums as engagement rather than distraction. Our technology will provide exciting new ways to connect with art, artists and those who love it.”
Smartify’s ambitious vision is to bring positive disruption to the way audiences experience art in museums, galleries and other venues. I don’t know about you, but I am off to test the hell out of it in the National Portrait Gallery. And yes, I will be scanning my face to see whether it mistakes me for a famous romantic artwork. Hopefully it will not suppose me to be a subject of Edvard Munch.
Here is short demo of the prototype at The National Portrait Gallery:
Here are the deets you need to know:
Happy arting, people!