Tate Britain

Pocket Gallery App

Dec. 16, 2012

AllofUs were called upon earlier this year to make a Pocket Gallery App for the Great British Art Debate; a partnership between Tate Britain, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Norfolk Museums & Archeology Service and Museums Sheffield.

The grand unveiling of the app took place in September 2012, concluding the collective project.

The aim of the Great British Art Debate partnership was to invite the public to explore and debate ideas around Britishnessand art through a series of events and exhibitions. We harnessed the digital content owned by the galleries involved to create an augmented reality application, allowing users to look through their iPhone camera to see famous artworks in the real world beyond the gallery walls.

In order to allow people to hang artworks in their homes and surroundings we had to come up with a neat solution for overlaying digital content on the 'real' world. This technique is commonly known as augmented reality and usually entails printing off a black and white marker as a way of positioning digital content. We wanted to avoid this step and to make the experience as seamless as possible. Using Obvious Engine (http://obviousengine.com/) we developed a native iOS app that uses common every day signs and items such as road signs and

bank notes as markers. The application uses these markers to position, orient and scale digital content over the physical world, allowing you to hang artworks wherever you like.

Considering the idea behind the project was to spark conversation and discussion we made all the app content shareable on various social channels. Users can also chart their captured content on a Pocket Art Gallery map, allowing people to see when someone decides to complement a local park with a Turner landscape, or an office wall with a pre-Raphaelitepainting. In addition the app offers information about the artists, and a history of each painting, encouraging consumers to really engage with British art.

It has been a great opportunity to work with Tate Britain again and, in the wise words of Marie Bak Mortensen, National Initiatives Manager at the Tate: “It's a wonderful way to conclude the Great British Art Debate project and to extend its legacy.”