When Shazam arrived in the app store, it made frustrated music listeners everywhere rejoice. Any tune that you heard—but couldn’t name—was suddenly at your fingertips. Building on that idea is Smartify, an art app that allows you to scan an artwork, identify the name and artist, and learn more about it. If you’re in one of Smartify’s 30 supported galleries, you’ll never wonder about the story behind a work of art again.
A great painting can be made better by understanding the context surrounding it. This fact inspired Smartify’s team, who call their app a new kind of art docent that “goes beyond audio guides and catalogs, like an enthusiastic and knowledgeable friend available to tell visitors more about the works they are viewing.” In addition to learning about a particular piece, Smartify allows you to save the works you love to view later; you can “build a personal collection” that acts as a mobile gallery. Then, share your favorite scans with other users or discover new works that the app suggests, based on your saved pieces.
From the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, there are institutions around the world where you can use Smartify for an unconventional museum tour. The app is now available and free to download for the iPhone and Android.