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Pocket Gallery by Google Arts & Culture is an AR Museum Showcasing Van Gogh and Picasso

Pocket Gallery, a release by Google Arts & Culture last year, contained the artworks of Johannes Vermeer. This year, the technology giant has launched a sequel that introduces many more prominent artists to people’s homes through augmented reality.

The new Pocket Gallery feature can be accessed through the Google Arts & Culture applications for Android and iOS platforms. Titled as “The Art of Color”, it features thirty-three renowned paintings originating across the globe. The artworks are organised into different wings, based on colour palettes. Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso are two of the artists featured in the gallery.

Offering a similar experience to the Vermeer gallery of last year, users can use ARCore or ARKit to pull out a small version of the gallery in their current physical environment.

Image by Google/YouTube

After launching the Google Arts & Culture application, users are required to click the camera button on the bottom side of their screen. The menu screen that appears now features the Pocket Gallery feature. By clicking on this option, the application directs users to find a sufficiently lit surface to showcase the virtual gallery.

Once the application completes its tracking, the “Art of Color” icon at the lower part of the screen can be downloaded as a feature. Upon tapping the Enter option, viewers can start experiencing the immersive virtual art gallery within their surroundings. The experience can even be considered close to virtual reality, but users can see their real surroundings through the gallery’s doors.

Users can take a walk and immerse themselves within the halls of the art gallery. They can choose to look closely at artworks that interest them, and tap twice to traverse the different sections of the museum. Those seeking knowledge about any particular painting can tap on it to see a card containing all the relevant information.

Andy Joslin, Design Lead, Google Arts & Culture, talked about the art gallery through a blog post. According to him, a key objective of his team is to discover innovative ways of connecting people to art. He said that ‘The Art of Color’ gallery features a great variety of artworks, including ‘Red Cannas’ by Georgia O’Keeffe, ‘Mother India’ by Amrita Sher-Gil, and ‘South Wind, Clear Dawn’ by Hokusai.

A key objective of his team is to discover innovative ways of connecting people to art. – Andy Joslin

Augmented reality is already being used for many of the existing products by Google, including Google Search and Google Maps. The Google Arts & Culture team has expended all its efforts towards AR, as evident by their inclusion of all AR tools under their in-app Camera tab.

The Google Arts & Culture movement has been recognised mostly for its virtual reality experiments. However, augmented reality is in full focus of the team now, including the Art Projector device that introduces life-sized individual works within the personal space of users.

Apart from its mobile application, the team has created partnerships with several other companies to tell stories.

Showcasing art through augmented reality has become one of the most important areas of experimentation for Google.




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