Blog: Using Mobile Applications for Augmented Reality Art Buying

One of our clients was looking to create a new business model of selling digital art using an augmented reality art mobile app solution. They identified that the biggest roadblock to selling digital art was that a customer often returned the art piece because it didn’t look right in their home or place of business. We developed the Art for Places and Spaces AFPAS application which allows customers to explore how a certain piece of artwork looks in the intended room before buying it.

Watch the following video to learn more technical details augmented reality art buying works.

Simplifying the customer experience with augmented reality art using AFPAS

Buy removing one of the major uncertainties with purchasing art, potential buyers can beam an artwork directly in their homes to see exactly how it might look before even purchasing it.

From the user’s point of view, here is how it works:

  • Download a free AFPAS application and print an augmented reality art marker.
  • Place the marker where you want your artwork to be with some double sided tape.
  • Point your smartphone’s camera towards the marker to see how the art will look like in your home!

What stands behind this breathtaking augmented reality magic? We took advantage of Qualcomm Vuforia AR platform to deliver a truly immersive experience for the application users. The number of Vuforia-powered applications exceeds 35 thousand, and the augmented reality art buying application from AFPAS joins the ranks.

You can learn more about the AFPAS service for artists and buyers at Art for Places and Spaces.application.

The technology behind augmented reality art

Let’s dive into the technical highlights of the AFPAS application for iOS and Android.

afpas app structure

First of all, there’s an interface layer AFPAS service for search and browsing the digital artwork. When you select a specific image, the network layer of for the application downloads the image from an Azure SQL Database. We leveraged Azure Blobs with CDN to provide users with fast and secure data delivery. We then use the selected this image for visualization of an artwork in your interior.

The augmented reality art layer enables creating an augmented reality scene which is the core of the application and undoubtedly its greatest feature. The application uses the live picture from the main smartphone camera to discover position and size of an AFPAS AR marker located on your wall in the very place where you would like your painting to be. We leveraged the capabilities of Vuforia platform to automate the marker recognition and image scaling. This means that you will see the painting in real size and you can explore it from any point of your room.

If you really like how the virtual picture looks in your room, you can buy it online. We implemented the PayPal SDK to perform in-app purchases. Then PayPal forwards the information about the payments to the application server. This server includes 2 key modules: a web portal for artists and an admin panel. The artist can log in to the web portal to upload the artworks, set the price and get the information about the buyer of their artwork. In the end, the artists themselves send the painting to buyers.

Using augmented reality art to improve profit

Let’s take a look at the business model that stands behind this amazing Art for Places and Spaces application.

Artists upload the images of their pictures. Their main benefit comes as the financial reward when somebody buys their pictures. Still, their popularity grows as people are watching the pictures in the application.

The users can get a taste augmented reality art before buying. In addition, they benefit from fast delivery and secure money transfer via PayPal where the payment is frozen before you actually accept the picture.

The application founders get a modest 15 percent fee from every sale. That allows for covering the annual expenses on application servers, databases and application support.

At DB Best, we can help you imagine new business opportunities using AR applications like augmented reality art, like AFPAS. Check out another example of how we used AR application that allows for displaying various 3D objects on an iPhone screen.

Contact DB Best to discover how fascinating augmented reality solutions can improve your business!