There’s a Shazam for Fine Art

If you’ve ever entered an art museum and not know the story behind any of the artworks, then you’re in luck. Smartify is an augmented reality art-identifier for iOS and Android that’s adopted by over 20 museums worldwide.

Simply download the app, and then point your smartphone’s camera at the artworks – from oil paintings to marble sculptures – and it’ll identify them for you. You don’t even need to hit a button to take a photo.

While the app is free for users, Smartify stays afloat with government grants and memberships from participating museums.

It was available since last year, and it’s essentially a quick, visual search focused on an extremely specific topic: art. While nobody really wants to be on their phone at an art museum, but it beats squinting at the tiny title cards next to most paintings – plus, the app also adds useful blurbs and context to the piece, which may include anecdotes from critics.

While other apps like these are on the rise and have far-reaching applications, who knows how long Smartify can survive given the competition. But in the meantime, if you find yourself in museums like The National Gallery (London), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), or any of the 20+ museums on their list, Smartify can make your art exploration a lot more meaningful. Besides, it’s free.