Smartify: your favorite artworks at your fingertips

Thanks to this app, museums will encourage you to pull out your smartphone

Smartify: your favorite artworks at your fingertips

You know that feeling when you are walking through a museum and a particular artwork catches your eye, you walk closer, and the information on the side only leaves you wishing you knew more? So you take out your phone and snap a picture of the artwork and of the information card beside it and tell yourself you will Google it later, but when you get home you realize your picture is blurry and you cannot really see the name of the artist, or the work’s title, and you are left with nothing. Luckily, there is an app for that!

In the United Kingdom, a group of friends who liked to visit museums noticed that situations like this kept happening to them, so they came up with a solution: Smartify. This is an app that has often been called the Shazam of art, because like the music app, Smartify scans an artwork and tells you the artist, the title, and the technical information of the work you are looking at. It also allows you to “access rich interpretation and build a personal art collection in some of the world’s best museums and galleries”, as stated in their website.

Technology in museums:

“We know that the use of phones in museums is still controversial. So we use the latest technologies and simple design to create a non-intrusive experience. Our ambition is to re-frame the use of smartphones as engagement rather than distraction, and to help museums build new audiences and revenue streams”, states the Smartify team on their website. When allowing users to enjoy a fuller museum experience, it encourages younger audiences to find these spaces more accessible. Smartphones are traditionally seen as items of distraction, but they are also very powerful tools, and companies like Smartify attempt to adapt traditional spaces to a world that keeps moving forward.

Bring it to Latin America!

So far, the app is mostly available in the UK, the United States, and a few other museums in Europe, such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. However, it is not available in other continents yet. Latin America will benefit from such initiatives, because they encourage artistic and cultural participation from audiences who could possibly consider themselves out-of-place at museums, for lack of knowledge. In a globalized world, where most people have smartphones, apps like this democratize art, and allow everyone to enjoy a more enriching museum experience.

Interpreting art is not always easy

Experts and academia members have dedicated their lives to understand the messages behind artworks. Although any interpretation when it comes to art may be valid, there is certain information, context wise, for instance, that may change our perspective of a work of art. Information like the movement the artist belonged to, or the time and place when the artwork was produced, whether it had religious purposes or not, are all pieces of information that enrich our experience when observing art. This information, however, is not always accessible, and Smartify is a tool that changes this. Over at LatamArt, we have an educational course that can help you understand and interpret art when you are not an expert, which you can find here: http://campus.latampost.com/


Latin American Post | Laura Rocha Rueda

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