Google launches Augmented Reality museum

You can now explore a gallery featuring all 36 works of Johannes Vermeer from the comfort of your own home, thanks to an AR experience from Google Arts and Culture.

The app is the result of a collaboration between the Mauritshuis, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Rijksmuseum, and the Louvre.

Google compiled the image into a virtual museum, which is available on the free Google Arts and Culture app for iOS and Android using a smartphone with a working camera.

By pointing your phone at a flat surface and waving it in a circle will produce the virtual museum. From here, you can pinch and zoom to explore seven rooms with Vermeer paintings.

Alongside the AR museum, Google has released an Instagram colouring book to offer more insight into the artist and his works.

It is not the first time Augmented Reality has added depth to art. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) hosted a shared Augmented Reality (AR) experience in partnership with Ubiquity6.

100 visitors to the museum were given iPhones loaded with new multiplayer augmented reality software.

Guests could use the phones’ cameras to explore the art of Rene Magritte in a unique way, powered by AR.

It is an established opinion that Augmented Reality (AR) will one day thrive – but the technology still lags behind. Apple CEO Tim Cook has declared his preference for AR and many major tech players are investing heavily.

Augmented Reality (AR) overlays the real world with the digital world, rather than replacing it in the way VR does. Recent developments may speed up progress in the industry and enhance AR’s status as a tech trend.

However, many obstacles still face development. PC Mag points out that many devices are still bulky and have limited fields of view. Interactivity is still an issue too, with more development needed in devices that can interact with the virtual world.

Image courtesy Google Arts and Culture

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