Bringing art to life with augmented reality

by Haadi Bakar
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Chances are you might have already been toying with augmented reality (AR) for years now without you even realising it.

Whether its Instagram filters, Pokemon Go, or that face aging app that makes you look like older version of yourselves, most of us today take the technology behind these platforms for granted.

In fact, AR can do so much more than just applying dog filters and catching monsters on your smartphone. The technology is already being used in education, healthcare, military, automotive, computer science, digital advertising and in art galleries.

AR has made huge strides in the creative industry as well, as showcased by Meshminds during last week’s Creative Economy Week. The Singapore-based creative tech studio had put up an exhibit on how the technology can transform artists’ work into immersive and interactive experiences.

Using the Artivive mobile app, visitors at the showcase were able to see the artistic pieces on flat canvases digitally come to life through their smartphones.

According to Olivier Bos, Meshminds Chief Inspiration Officer, the project is aimed at empowering artists in Singapore to adopt emerging tech in order to make their artwork more engaging for their audience.

“Our focus has always been about bringing together art and technology for good,” said Olivier.

And with the easy-to-use tools available online, like Artivive and Spark AR Studio, these artists do not need to be ICT experts to get started in fusing their artwork with AR.

Olivier during the AR workshop at the Creative Economy Week. Image: Creative Core BN

During the AR/VR workshop, Olivier and his associate, Chief Creative Technologist Haikel Yusuff, demonstrated how easy it was to design and upload AR content on the cloud-based Artivive and Spark AR applications.

“There’s no steep learning curve to using these applications. You don’t need to be a programmer to create AR content,” Olivier said.

A visitor at the Meshminds AR/VR showcase steps into virtual reality during the Creative Economy Week.

Olivier hopes that the showcase and workshop would inspire Bruneian creatives to get on board this trend of fusing art and mixed reality tech to help spur the growth of the country’s creative industry, which was the main focus of the Creative Economy Week.

He gave an example of how creative companies can apply AR into art galleries, interactive architecture, themed face filters for events, for company marketing and branding, immersive architecture as well as fashion.

Meshminds is actively advocating the UN Environment initiative to mobilise creative technology to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The studio has frequently organised the ArtxTechforGood exhibitions in Singapore that spotlights environmental issues and global sustainability challenges through multi-sensory experiences.

The Creative Economy Week was organised by The Creative Core BN to commemorate the country’s National Youth Day.

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