Google wants to help you take a closer look at the art world.
The company’s Arts & Culture app has long been one of the company’s cooler niche apps and one that I often feel guilty about overlooking every time I rediscover it. Today, the company has added another experience into the mix focused on collecting the known works of Dutch master artist Johannes Vermeer and curating them in a single place.
The feature looks a lot like many of the company’s other deep dives, including listicles of factoids, interviews with experts and editorials. What makes this presentation unique is that the company actually constructed a miniature 3D art gallery that can utilize your phone’s AR functionality to plop into physical space in front of you.
With ARCore or ARKit, you can move through the “Pocket Gallery” and get close to the high-resolution captures of the paintings while also bringing up information about the works.
Having just tried it, this is one of those things that honestly doesn’t make a ton of sense to do with phone AR. Having a fully rendered gallery pop on your coffee table is an interesting gimmick, but they probably could have ditched the AR for a fully rendered 3D environment that’s more of a traversable object or just left the immersive views for VR and stuck with 2D exploration on your phone.
Nevertheless, it all makes for some interesting experimentation, and it’s just cool to see Google trying out new things with experiencing digital art in a more immersive way. Google’s Arts & Culture app is available on iOS and Android.