Art Gallery of Ontario creates augmented reality experience with ReBlink exhibit

art gallery - augmented reality experience

The world renowned gallery is bringing its classic paintings to life with AR technology.

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), located in Toronto, Canada, has created a new augmented reality experience for visitors to some of the classic exhibits there.

The goal of the AR technology is to bring a new layer of excitement into the artwork in the exhibit.

The augmented reality experience is called ReBlink. The AR artwork app creator’s goal was to provide mobile device users with a new perspective when it comes to classic artwork.

According to Alex Mayhew, an artist, many smartphone users are already using their devices to take pictures of the artwork they see at galleries. Therefore, the incorporation of augmented reality technology won’t require visitors to have to use any new gadgets in order to enjoy the additional experience. Instead, it will allow them to enjoy paintings they may not even otherwise have noticed.

“I wanted people to feel a connection by looking back at the past with a present-day lens,” said Mayhew.

art gallery - augmented reality experienceThe ReBlink augmented reality experience uses a custom AR app compatible with smartphones and tablets.

All visitors need to do is download the ReBlink app. From there, once the augmented reality app has been installed and opened, the user imply needs to point the device camera at the artwork they’re observing in order to gain access to the additions Mayhew has made to the piece. So far, the ReBlink experience is available for 10 historic works exhibited within the permanent collection at the AGO.

Through the smartphone screen, visitors see the subjects of the paintings coming to life. Mayhew explained that this will help to make sure visitors don’t miss the true beauty of many of the paintings in the museum that they might not otherwise notice if they spent only a second or two having a look.

“We have such short attention spans,” said Mayhew who pointed to mobile devices and social media as one of the reasons for this. “We thought it could also be part of the solution.”

With this augmented reality experience, the devices that are shortening attention spans can help people to gain a greater appreciation for the classic paintings they might otherwise only breeze by.

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