Google’s Art Gallery Coming to Your Pocket
Google Arts & Culture debuted its Pocket Gallery last year which featured works by Johannes Vermeer. Now the tech giant is just about to expand the palette on its app by showing off more paintings as well as sculptures in augmented reality through the user’s smartphones. The latest initiative will also offer users an immersive tour of some of the world’s leading art galleries and museums.
The new AR arts feature will be available in the Google Arts & Culture app for both iOS and Android. Dubbed “The Art of Culture”, the app features some 33 famous paintings from across the world which have been organized into wings based on the color palette. Some of the artists to be featured in the AR experience include Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso among others. Now you can look forward to experiencing the works of some of the greats in your personal space via augmented reality.
Just like in Google’s earlier Vermeer gallery, users will be able to overlay a miniature version of the virtual gallery onto their physical environments through the ARCore or ARKit.
“The Art of Color” feature in the Google app can be accessed by first opening the app and the clicking on the camera icon button which can be found at the bottom of the app. In the next menu, users will see a menu that has the Pocket Gallery option. When users click the Pocket Gallery menu option, they will be prompted to look for well-lit surface upon which they will overlay the virtual gallery.
After the tracking has been performed, users can tap on the “Art of Color” icon that is situated at the bottom of the screen and then download this new AR feature. Upon download, tap on the Enter button to immerse yourself into a virtual gallery within a preferred real-world location. The experience is so immersive it almost seems like a virtual reality immersion. The only difference is that users overlay the virtual gallery onto the real world and they can still see the real-world through the exit doors of the virtual gallery.
The immersion is so rich that users can even walk around the virtual halls as they sample the various works of art up close. They can also double-tap and they will be transported into the disparate wings of the virtual museums. The tapping of painting will also reveal a card containing more information on the art piece.
The Google Arts & Culture team aims to tap into new and unexpected ways of connecting people to art. Very few dare to venture out into museums and art galleries to view these art pieces so the augmented experience can be a bridge to the real art experience.
You will find anything here ranging from some of the top art masterpieces to the lesser known gems. Through “The Art of Color”, you can explore works by artists such as the ‘Red Cannas’ by Georgia O’Keeffe, “South Wind, Clear Dawn” by Hokusai or “Mother India” by Amrita Sher-Gil.
Google is gradually integrating augmented reality into its existing products such as the Maps and Google Search. However, with the Google Arts & Culture, the team has gone “all in” in rendering a comprehensive augmented reality experience for its users by consolidating all the augmented reality tools under the camera tab in the Google app.
The Google Arts & Culture initiative is tapping into other platforms. It has widely experimented with virtual reality in the recent years but the team is increasingly putting augmented reality at the forefront of its aims. One of the AR tools it has released in the past is the Art Projector tool which projects life-sized individual works of art onto the preferred personal space of the user.
Apart from creating an experiential app for art enthusiasts, the team at Google Arts & Culture has also partnered with various other organizations that use augmented reality to tell their stories such as CERN which tapped onto augmented reality to explore the Big Bang. The Google team gas also been instrumental in steering the Notable Women Project which involved using AR experiences in digitally inserting historical famous women onto a real currency.
However, as far as AR experimentation goes, the augmented reality display of art pieces has lately been Google’s pet project.