From The New York Times:
Magnus is part of a wave of smartphone apps trying to catalog the physical world as a way of providing instantaneous information about songs or clothes or plants or paintings. First came Shazam, an app that allows users to record a few seconds of a song and instantly identifies it. Shazam’s wild success — it boasts more than a billion downloads and 20 million uses daily, and was purchased by Apple for a reported $400 million last year — has spawned endless imitations. There is Shazam for plants or Shazam for clothes and now, Shazam, for art.
The art-oriented apps harness image recognition technology, each with a particular twist. Magnus has built a database of more than 10 million images of art, mostly crowdsourced, and aims to help prospective art buyers navigate the notoriously information-lite arena of galleries and fairs.
Other apps are geared toward museumgoers: Smartify, for example, takes an educational approach, teaming up with museums and sometimes galleries to upload digitized versions of their collections, wall texts, and information about artists. Google Lens — Google’s advanced image recognition technology — is making new forays into the art world. In June, Google Lens announced a partnership with the de Young Museum in San Francisco to show parts of the museum’s collection. In July, Google began collaborating with Wescover, a platform oriented toward design objects, public and local art, furniture, and craft — enabling you to learn the name of that anonymous painting in your WeWork space or coffee shop.