Kochi: The Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014 is set to launch a first-of-its-kind mobile app, which will make the entire range of information on the art extravaganza available to visitors literally at their fingertips.
The entire KMB ’14 exhibits have been charted out on the app. So when a visitor walks up to an installation, complete details on the artist and the artwork will pop up, in English or Malayalam, on the mobile, together with video links that feature interviews with the artist.
Designed by Sinergia Media Labs, the free app can be downloaded from the biennale website (kochimuzirisbiennale.org), iTunes or Google Play Store, and is available on iOS and Android.
The details scroll on the screen corresponding to the visitor’s route, with the artwork nearest the visitor appearing on top. Visitors can share details via Facebook from the venues, with personalised messages. Photos and selfies can be uploaded on a ‘Gallery’, a selection of which can be viewed by everyone who has downloaded the app.
The app, slated to be launched in a week’s time, also features location maps, which give visitors directions to each venue, and an overview of entire venues and installations. For instance, in a large area such as Aspinwall, which features 69 works, they know where they are standing and can locate any particular installation.
How does the technology work? Low energy bluetooth ‘beacons’, with a range of up to 50m, are discreetly placed at each art work, which send signals that push the relevant notification to the mobile device.
Apart from details on the artworks, the app will also provide information on the programmes of the day. The app, which is co-sponsored by Delhi-based Niv Art Centre, works most efficiently on 3G, and the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) is in talks with service providers.
“This is the first time in India that an app of this nature has been built,” says Derrick Sebastian, CEO of the InfoPark-based startup. “We feel that apart from being a useful tool to visitors, the ‘share’ features will create a good momentum on the biennale.”
Director of communications Abhayan Varghese says that the app is yet another way to reach out to people and engage them in the activities of the KBF. “Not only will the app give insights and information on the biennale, but will be fully functional after the biennale and give people constant updates on the KBF,” he said. “We are committed to making our activities as participatory as possible and of the people.”
The second edition of KMB seeks to transform Kochi into a “navigation deck” to look at the world from a distinct geographical, philosophical and artistic perspective. The app can now “navigate” the visitors to the biennale itself, thanks to technology.