Reimagining art galleries of the future

Bengaluru: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the adoption of VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented reality) have increased swiftly in several countries. With the rise of Metaverse, science has come a long way, from a niche technology to a growing trend across a multitude of industries. Before the pandemic occurred, most of the industries were interested in AR and VR however, not many companies were ready to utilise this technology. Today, the situation has escalated rapidly where both companies and their customers are not hesitant to incorporate these popular solutions in diverse areas.

Here’s one such platform, eGalleria, built by Ganesh Prasad and Nilank Udupiwhich enables artists to showcase their portfolio. It’s not just this, purchasing an artwork also becomes much easier for the ones who are fascinated by art.

“The purpose of building this was to help out local artists who sell their art at an affordable price since they weren’t getting a platform to market their work and provide a certain amount of exposure to it. At the beginning, we built a showcase platform where they could create a profile, share their links and advertise on social media where people could look at different artworks. The pandemic occurred soon after this and we realised that there’s more potential to this tech. Therefore, we thought of transforming it into an e-commerce platform. However, we didn’t stop there as art is not something that one can purchase just by looking at it, there’s a lot more into it. That was when we pivoted a little, and decided to build an experience platform. We didn’t have a goal to build something which involves VR or a platform similar to Metaverse since our goal was to provide an experience. Hence, we thought of gamifying the experience,”says Ganesh Prasad, Founder of eGalleria.

There are a wide range of elements for an artist and a customer to get an absolute experience.”For an artist, there are various features available where they can choose the outlook of their virtual gallery and upload their artwork just like how people choose themes on WordPress. Since they cannot make several copies on one artwork, they could also showcase their work, even if it had already been sold. For a customer, it’s a different experience altogether. It’s not limited to cryptocurrency as we were trying to bridge the gap between these buzzwords like VR, Metaverse and so on. They could buy these artworks with their cards. We wanted to reach as many people as possible, which is why we didn’t want to limit our product to those who own VR headsets. Our platform could be used on any smartphone,” he adds.

“Just a tap on the link would lead people to art galleries and every viewer is a character and these viewers can witness the other characters who are in the art gallery as well. Swiping in different directions enables you to move around the gallery. We also had AR built into it as people would prefer to see how one particular artwork looks on their wall before buying it,” he explains.

It makes marketing easier for an artist and a customer can buy an artwork sitting at home as it is easily accessible. “An artist wants to make money at the end of the day. This can either be through sales, or by connecting with a potential customer, or even by showcasing their artwork and charging money for people to view these works. From a customer’s point of view, during the pandemic, most of them couldn’t go out and people who were genuinely interested in art would definitely prefer this platform,”

Further developments include blockchain technology and NFTs. “We are also planning to implement blockchain to create a trail of sales for a particular artwork where anybody can identify an original piece of work. Other than this, artists who own NFTs (Non-fungible Token) can easily connect their digital work to a gallery and showcase it on the platform. Once the economy grows, we’re intending to incorporate this,” he adds.

Technologies that were mostly experimental toys for kids a few years ago will start to blend with our lives but it takes time. “The one place VR is booming right now in India, is in the gaming industry. However, they have become a usable tool for business and entertainment purposes. We experienced how long it took for people to start using smartphones, it’s the same with any technology that comes up,” he concludes.

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