Remember the Ikea Place app that lets you pick and place virtual furniture in your apartment in glorious augmented reality? Saatchi Art, one of the world’s leading art galleries, has created a similar AR tool that allows customers to view more than a million artworks in their home before purchasing them online. It’s the perfect high tech means of buying art in the age of coronavirus, although its creators think it’s going to be useful for a lot longer than that.
“This is most certainly going to be an essential element of art selling long into the future,” Jeanne Anderson, general manager of Saatchi Art, told Digital Trends. “In fact, the goal of launching this feature is something we’ve been working toward for quite some time. We know from customer surveys, going several years back, that over 70% of art buyers have been hesitant to purchase because they can’t see the artwork in advance. By offering the ability to view an artwork via augmented reality on mobile, buyers are now going to instantly see the beauty of the artwork in their home and will feel confident in their purchase. That was an important consumer problem to solve before COVID — and will be a benefit long after.”
The “View in a Room” augmented reality feature applies to select artworks on SaatchiArt.com. Without requiring an app, it lets users try art out on their walls with just a smartphone or tablet. Each piece of art is dynamically scaled and appears with the approximate real-world dimensions of the physical artwork.
“Typically when a customer shops for artwork at a traditional gallery space or art website they’re unable to accurately visualize how the artwork will appear in their own space,” Anderson continued. “Factors such as lighting, scale, and how well it complements the room’s overall aesthetic can’t be determined, which makes it difficult to execute the purchase confidently — especially for higher-priced works.”
Alternatively, you could just use the AR tool to pretend you’ve got money by imaging how your tiny apartment would look decked out in artworks, if only you pulled a few hundred hours of overtime each month for the next decade or three! Either way works.