Archives for the month of: April, 2012

Our first iBook, “Exploring Art with Art Authority” is now available through the iBook Store. And it’s free! As our announcement states, the interactive iPad-based book is “a great introduction to the app for those just getting started with it, and a great companion for others who already know and love the app.” 

Aabookcoverart

“Exploring Art with Art Authority” is organized in the same way as the app, with one chapter for each of the eight major art periods. Each chapter includes a brief summary of the period, a short movie showing off that period’s “room” in the iPad app’s museum, and an overview of a few of the key works from that period. A summary of the app line itself concludes the book.

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If you have a chance to check out the book, please let us know what you think.

Today we announced the Art Authority internship program, with space for up to 100 art majors to help us enhance the database behind the Art Authority app line this summer. We’re very excited about this program, because it’s a win-win-win situation:

  • We get to increase the size of the database (50,000+ works) by up to 50% while at the same time enhancing its quality with additional information on current works and higher-resolution images for the new iPad’s retina display.
  • Art students get ahead-of-the-curve experience as key parts of their field transition into the digital realm. Plus they get to work on a way cool app 🙂
  • Users of the app around the world, including other students, get an even more comprehensive, up-to-date version of the app. 

Traditionally, an art internship would consist of moving to a big city like New York and working as a docent or other volunteer at a museum. Such an internship certainly still has its place for a certain set of students preparing for a certain set of jobs. But for others, who are already more focused on technology, getting a jump on the part of their field that they’re more likely to go into could well prove invaluable.

At the iPad 2 introduction in 2011, Steve Jobs said “It’s technology, married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing.” Art Authority is quite literally the intersection of Art and Technology. And we’re looking forward to meeting a whole lot of art students there.

Intersection

Art Authority is a great app for a number of reasons, with the most recent one being Apple’s new iPad and its retina display. There’s also of course all the classic works of art themselves, for which we can also take no credit. But we can (and do) take credit for the professionally designed rooms in which the works are displayed, and for the user interface and features of the app. Most of these elements are documented elsewhere, such as in the User’s Guide.

What’s not really documented anywhere, until now, is the critical set of technologies that really make Art Authority tick. How does Art Authority really give you, the user, access to those 50,000+ works (and 10GB) of art?

In part 1 of “Art Authority Technologies,” we thought we’d provide a quick overview of some of those key technologies. Then, in subsequent blog entries, we’ll go into more detail on each of them. So here’s the initial list:

  • The Art Authority database. An industry-standard SQL collection of the “metadata” and images for each of the 1000+ artists, 500+ locations, 500+ keywords and 50,000+ works of art.
  • Art Near Me. The combination of app- and server-based technologies that quickly scan the entire database to determine the set of works that best convey the availability of art near your current location.
  • Art Like This. An advanced set of art analysis and classification techniques combined with server-side technologies that result in selection of the seemingly magically-derived set of works from the database that most closely match the one you are currently looking at. 
  • SmArt Resolution. A combination of low- and high-technology coordination techniques between the app and the database that provide you with the most appropriate resolution image in the least amount of time and using the least amount of bandwidth possible.

Much more on each of these important items soon!