Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see part of the Art Gallery of Ontario as part of the learning activities provided by the Ontario Teachers’ Federation’s Curriculum Forum.

There was one section that was of focus for us and that was ReBlink.

Unfortunately, the iPads that were part of the project weren’t working.  But, one of the people in our group had the flyer so we knew that we could download the application for our own devices.  In my case, it was my phone.

After connecting to the AGO wifi (recommended since the application was big), I soon had it on my device.  For it to work, you had to go to selected pieces of art, load the application, and then just point your device at the picture.  What happens next is just amazing.

If you read the link from the AGO above, you get the concept.  If not, here’s the teaser.

Have you ever wondered how the AGO’s paintings would look with a modern update? How would the portraits change? And how would the landscapes transform?

Really?  Oh yes!

And the application makes it so easy to activate and, with a click, you’re sharing your image on social media.

Now, by itself, that image might not do it for you.  But, you had to be there.  Just moments before this, the people in the pictures were actually in separate frames.  The lady on the left; the man on the right.

There were a couple of footprints on the floor between the two paintings and a box a couple of metres away.  Fortunately, in my group was Anthony Carabache (@HeyCarabache) and he was up for a little experimenting.

I had to have one of myself.

This was so cool.  Being the inquisitive people we are, we tried to come up with a “how did they do that” moment.  The best hypothesis we came up with was that the process must work with a Google Goggles approach; the application recognizes the specific picture and then acts on it.

If that’s true, then is it the actual painting that triggers it or is it the image?

We tried our hypothesis first by taking a picture of the painting and then pointing the application on a second phone to the first phone.  Next step was to try it on the flyer that was mentioned above.  The result?  Well, you’ll have to try it yourself.

Then, it was off to find the other paintings that had been specially marked to be part of the exhibit.

Like the canned comment says “We couldn’t believe our eyes”.  The 3D presentation and the ability to look around corners and see the little things that were hidden in the new pictures really engaged us and kept us wanting more.

If you happen to be in Toronto, support the Art Gallery of Ontario and enjoy this feature while it’s still running.

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