Need help in visualising decking up your home with art? Well, you don’t need an interior designer or to download an app. Right from the comfort of your living room, you can have a unique art experience, find an artwork that fits your taste and budget and also see how it would look on the walls of your house. Make way for an Augmented Reality (AR) tool from MeMeraki, to use in your living room for not just an art experience but also to deck it up. MeMeraki is a ‘culture-tech’ platform working with traditional and tribal arts and crafts of India.
This AR feature provides a seamless ‘View in Your Room’ functionality to enable art patrons to first visualise how artworks would look in different spaces of their homes before they decide to buy! “It’s almost as good as getting these artworks home and trying them out,” says MeMeraki founder Yosha Gupta in an email from Sydney. Yosha, who has been promoting heritage art forms for over 25 years used the feature to do a virtual makeover of her living room with a kalamkari Tree of Life by artist Siva Reddy.
Says Yosha, “I’m super excited that we are at a stage to use cutting-edge tech like AR to help elevate art forms. We have learnt so much while building the tool,”
Art lovers can even share photos of walls and ask for different options to visualise an art makeover. This visualisation tool is an extension of the detailed descriptions the website already had for images. “No two homes are the same. Hence, we wanted a way for clients to be able to place the artworks on their own walls instead of looking at standard product images and guessing whether it looks good or not.”
Insights and data from patrons has been an inspiration. Clients would send photos of their spaces, select artworks and ask them to do mock-ups to show how they look. Having done this for many of their users, they realised this needed ‘to be a feature and decided to ‘productise it’. Interior designers too can use this easy-to-use visualization tool while designing client’s spaces.
The brains behind this feature include the technology lead Aditya Upadhyay and team members Sanidhya Kashyap and Aman Gupta along with designer Debobarni Das.
Luckily for them, META had launched the XR (Extended Reality) Accelerator at the same time and they were selected to be part of it through AIC SMUTBI ( AIC-SMU Technology Business Incubation) Foundation which gave them the grant to work on it, evaluate different technology stacks to finally select the tech stack that worked best as well as access to “a number of amazing mentors and experts from the world of XR and AR as part of the META accelerator,“‘ says Yosha.
How does the AI tool work
On the MeMeraki website, art lovers go to the paintings section, select artwork and click the ‘View in Your Room’ button beneath it and point towards the wall they want to visualise it. One will be taken to the AR environment on the website where they can see the artwork overlaid on top of their wall. It’s as simple as that, no extra download or app required!
Besides 100 styles of traditional arts and crafts from very remote corners of India, art lovers can browse an extensive collection of Pichwai and Kalamkari works on the website. Besides popular art forms like Kalighat, Pattachitra, Madhubani, Lippan Kaam, Terracotta, Thangka, Patua, Warli, Mysore, Tanjore and Mughal miniatures, their collection also includes Tikuli, Sohrai, Chittara Saura, Assamese Scroll and Kishangarh... artforms on a verge of extinction.
With the ‘View in Your Room’ feature, the team wanted to address a user-specific pain point by letting users quickly validate whether the artwork looks good, even before making the purchase. Working with AR technology for the first time, the team has scratched the surface of what is possible with extended reality (XR) tech. Creating an immersive experience involving the artist or more value-added services like customising size, selecting frames and creating combinations of different artworks are part of their bigger XR roadmap
Bhushita Sheshadri, a Bengaluru-based risk consultant bought The Bhon, a 32X35 inches Warli painting by Dilip Rama Bahotha recently for her drawing room by using this AI visualisation tool. Visualising art created by a multitude of artists in the living room has been an enchanting experience, she says. “With this feature, we can perceive the position, size and colours of the artwork on our walls effortlessly. Technology has bridged the gap between imagination and reality, creating a profound connection with masterpieces and facilitating a truly immersive and personalised art buying experience,” says Bhushita.
The AR tool that works on the phone, Yosha says, helps break the notion that traditional art forms do not look good in modern homes. “People can now just pick up their phones and watch how these artworks elevate their homes for themselves.”
The Beta version with the ‘View in Your Room’ feature was launched on July 26 for 1000 artworks and is currently being extended to approximately 4000 pieces on their website. Artworks available in small (A4 size 8.27 x 11.69 inches), medium (2.5x2 feet) and large (3x3 feet) sizes start from ₹1000 onwards on memeraki.com.