Smartify, the innovative app letting you discover the whole world of art
It has suddenly become effortless to revel in the world of art. Smartify, a new mobile application launched at the Royal Academy of Arts in London last October, has been designed to facilitate identification of artworks simply by pointing a mobile device towards them. Photographs, posters, paintings or sculptures all at once unveil their secrets, backed by additional multimedia information.
Smartify is the Shazam of art
Smartify works in a similar manner as the application Shazam which helps users discover instantly what is the name of the song that is being played, its author, the album to which it belongs as well as additional information. Smartify provides users with relevant information about the image they have in front of them, be it a poster, a photograph, a painting or a sculpture. Since its launch, Smartify has been rightly referred to as “the Shazam of art”. It is currently freely available for download for Android and iOS devices.
How does Smartify work?
Smartify is endowed with a state-of-the-art technology allowing image processing in real time at a very high speed. By pointing a mobile device towards the artwork, the application can recognize it in a matter of seconds. The rapid process sends the captured image to the servers that process it and identify it after comparison with other images in the vast database that the company is constantly updating. This identification process is done accurately regardless of the quality of the camera with which it has been captured, the angle of the photo or the lighting.
Even if the company remains reticent to reveal the exact details of the processing system, it does, however, reveal that some sort of “digital fingerprint” is created of artworks, reducing the images to a set of digital dots and lines.
Presenting information as human stories
Once the image is identified, the Smartify system provides the user relevant information about it, such as its history, the biography of the author, reviews or comments, or even interviews recorded with the author, if any. The information can be presented in the form of text, audio or video. Nonetheless, artworks not stored in the database of Smartify cannot be identified yet.
Co-founder Anna Lowe points out that they have tried to go an extra mile by transforming the dry typical guides generally given in museums into genuine human stories. “It’s the same as if an enthusiastic and knowledgeable friend telling you more about a work of art,” she highlights. Smartify also offers another option which allows the user to save the work of art in question in his or her “private collection”.
Smartify is being adopted worldwide
Smartify is currently operating in 30 art galleries and museums around the world including the Louvre in Paris, the MOMA in New York, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the LACMA in Los Angeles, and the National Gallery in London. Its founders definitely intend to see that the number grows. The company has been collaborating with the nonprofit organization Wikimedia Foundation to use Wikipedia’s image gallery to boost the efficiency of image recognition.