Google to Bring Indian Masterpieces to Life with AI, AR-powered Virtual Art Gallery for Miniatures


Google is set to use cool new tech like machine learning

Thousands of Indian masterpieces are going virtual with Google's virtual library of miniature paintings | Image credit: IANS

Inspired by the domes and doorways in India, Google Arts and Culture’s miniature paintings collection is the first AR-powered art gallery designed with traditional Indian architecture.

Augmented Reality (AR), and high-definition robotic cameras to jazz up India’s culture and heritage using miniature paintings.

In a bid to promote India’s culture and heritage, Google Arts and Culture announced on Tuesday that it has partnered with the National Museum in New Delhi to showcase miniature paintings to put up a magical new spin to preserving India’s cultural history.

Inspired by the domes and doorways that punctuate Indian homes and public spaces, this is the first AR-powered art gallery designed with traditional Indian architecture.

“Using your smartphone, you can open up a life-size virtual space

walk around at your leisure and zoom into your favourite pieces — you have this beautiful museum to yourself!” said Simon Rein, Programme Manager, Google Arts & Culture.

Though compact (about the same size as a small book), miniature paintings typically tackle profound themes such as love, power and faith.

Miniatures are rich in detailed representations of topics that have shaped Indian culture and thanks to machine learning, one can now discover these attributes across a collection of miniature paintings.

“Art Camera, our ultra-high-resolution robotic camera, was deployed to produce the most vivid images of masterpieces ever seen,” Rein said in a statement.

Using these images, Google created over 75 in-painting tours to help people appreciate details like wisps of smoke from firecrackers, or see the finesse and variety of every person’s attire in a royal procession.

The virtual collection includes 1,200 high-resolution images from 25 collections all around the world and more than 75 stories.

This is not the first time that Google has shown interest in curating and promoting India’s culture as well as its cultural icons. Inspired by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi on his 151st birth anniversary, Google Arts & Culture launched “Be the Voices of Change via Postcards” online exhibition on Friday. Organised in association with Kochi-based non-profit LetterFarms, the online exhibition aims to inspire people to be the change through messages written or painted on handcrafted postcards.