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Putting AR into Art

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A Viennese start-up is the first company from Austria to be accepted to Berkeley SkyDeck accelerator.

Artivive recently beat over 600 competing entries to become the first Austrian start-up to join the Berkeley SkyDeck program (considered one of the top ten accelerator programs in the world). The latest six-month cycle begins in January and also includes a six-digit investment amount.

Artivive supply a flexible tool for museums and artists which essentially allows them to integrate Augmented Reality into their existing content with minimal fuss. The aim, explains CEO Codin Popescu, was to give artists a quick and frictionless way to combine analogue and digital art.

“For an artist to create in augmented reality they previously had to build their own isolated solutions, which required technical skills and resources, but now those artists can take visitors on a journey in time and explain what lies behind, enhance the art with illustrations or show how the artworks were made. For museums, exhibitions, galleries and other art institutions it offers a new and innovative way for the audience to interact with the exhibits,” he says.

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Artivive supply a flexible tool for museums and artists which allows them to integrate Augmented Reality into their existing content Click To Tweet

The company was started only two years ago by Popescu and his Co-founder Sergiu Ardelean, and is incredibly diverse. Although their main base is in Vienna, they also have a presence in Beijing and Tel Aviv as well as partners in Mexico and Mongolia. Also, half of its 25 employees are women, which is still a sad rarity in the tech world.

To experience any linked work of art in its digitally enhanced format, all the user needs to do is load the app onto their smartphone or tablet, then point it at the chosen piece.

The interesting thing about watching such companies gain prominence in Silicon Valley is that it proves immersive tech is fostering a diverse and thriving global ecosystem Click To Tweet

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The Artivive app has proven popular so far, with more than 5500 artists in 65 countries currently using the platform Click To Tweet

Immersive technologies seem like a natural fit with the art-browsing experience since most people experience it on two levels. This dual-level experience means that we’re simultaneously admiring objects in front of you, while at the same time absorbing additional information about them provided by the curators in various forms – from the labels and cards on display next to the objects and cases, to the out-dated audio guides most institutions still offer, to using your smartphone to Google a certain artist, technique, style or piece. It’s therefore little wonder that the app has proven popular so far, with more than 5500 artists in 65 countries currently using the platform.

Immersive technologies seem like a natural fit with the art-browsing experience since most people experience it on two levels Click To Tweet


Artivive will take the opportunity offered by the SkyDeck program to open an office in Berkeley and make inroads in the U.S. arts and cultural market, building on their success back at home in Vienna, where they’ve worked with many of the city’s top museums such as the Belvedere and MAK – The Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art as well as international venues. For the Albertina Museum in Vienna they also created digital content for the exhibition “Film Stills” and integrated AR experiences to the permanent collection “Monet to Picasso”

Artivive will take the opportunity offered by the SkyDeck program to open an office in Berkeley Click To Tweet

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We want to build a movement around augmented reality art Click To Tweet

The interesting thing about watching such companies gain prominence in Silicon Valley is that it proves immersive tech is fostering a diverse and thriving ecosystem that isn’t limited to the usual suspects. There is appetite for innovating in the space from all corners of the globe, and that can only be a good thing.

“We want to become the go-to solution for artists, galleries and creators and change the way art is created and consumed while building a community and movement around augmented reality art, Popescu concludes”

For companies looking to get into Immersive technologies our VR Consultancy service offers comprehensive support in strategic deployment of Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality

Alice Bonasio is a VR Consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. She also regularly writes for Fast Company, Ars Technica, Quartz, Wired and others. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow @alicebonasio on Twitter.