#culture /art & design


Smartify: the Shazam of the art world

Jan 04, 2018

Smartify makes it easy to identify artworks

The future of technology is increasingly oriented towards visual augmented reality. It seems the trend is to make almost everything identifiable with the click of a button, wherever. And this future is coming sooner than you think, with the new app Smartify. It is marketed as a tool to help you identify works of art almost instantly, think 'Shazam', but for paintings, sculptures and more. The concept was launched by The Royal Academy of Arts in London and is set to change the way museum goers perceive the world of art and their experience. 


It works by cross-referencing the art piece that you scanned with an ever-expanding database - similar to how reverse image search works in Google. Almost instantly, the app will reveal the title, artist, and history of the work. So no more 'Oil on canvas' for you, not when you've got a portable art history class in your pocket. 

According to Smatify's creators, the purpose is to establish a more human connection between museums' visitors and the artworks by providing insights into the authors' personal stories and going beyond the old-fashioned and sometimes "dry" audio guides 

The app is currently available in more than 30 major museums and art galleries all over the world, including The Met in New York, the National Gallery in London and the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg.   

After identifying the art piece, Smartify also provides information on the artist

Any artist and gallery can make their artworks recognisable by Smartify for free to constantly expand the database and promote their pieces.  

When Shazam first became popular in the early 2010s, it seemed impossible to believe that an app could identify within seconds – sometimes just in one second – a random song, just by aiming at the sound with our smartphones. Almost ten years after its initial release, Shazam is one of the most downloaded apps of all time, and has definitely impacted the general approach to discovering new music.  

If Smartify continues to expand and to be embraced by organisations worldwide, it has the same potential. And who wouldn't love something that makes art more accessible and appealing to audiences of all ages? 

Learn more at www.smartify.org

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Marta Colombo