Museum goers, particularly those who visit the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles are in for a new informational experience, especially if they’re smartphone users.
Google Goggles, the popular app that allows you to use pictures to search the Web is now educating the masses at the California art museum. The Getty is encouraging pic snappers to use their Android and iPhones equipped with Google Goggles to learn about the art around the museum. All users have to do is snap a photo of whatever painting they wish and the app will access information on said paining, both from the Getty and from various parts of the Web.
It’s like having your own personal museum tour guide, but with better information and less instruction.
Because the content is on the Internet and not embedded in the app, it can be refreshed quickly and easily at your own whim. It also works outside the museum setting. Anytime you see a work of art plastered within an advertisement, you can grab a photo and find out more about its non-marketing origins. Your smartphone is, essentially, making you smarter – at least where art history is concerned.
“If you want to take your art history lesson home with you, you can store a record of the art you captured by enabling Search History on your Android phone. In fact, anytime you stumble across a piece of art, whether it be a reproduction on a poster or a print in a book, you can take a photo with your phone and Goggles will recognize it and supply you with rich info,” writes Google on their blog.
Google’s Shailesh Nalawadi says it’s part of the tech company’s effort to organize and make available all the world’s information.
“A lot of the world’s information is visual in nature,” says Nalawadi. “Paintings like these are a part of our culture. So we believe that using a tool like Goggles, making these paintings identifiable and allowing a whole new generation of users to interact with this work of art is very important.”
Neither side paid the other. Getty officials say they want younger visitors to connect with the museum’s art. Google’s people say they’re open to similar agreements with other museums, but there is no official word on anything definite.
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