Try Before You Buy – New App for buying art

Posted July 24th, 2013

Apps, Art Dealers, Technology

A new start-up based in Melbourne, Australia, has recently launched an innovative iPhone/iPad app that enables art buyers to “Try Before You Buy” with barely a few taps of a finger. The app they have developed, called WALNUT, allows people to download artwork of interest from participating galleries and artists, then uses a custom algorithm to produce a high quality visualization of how it will look in their home with correct scale and perspective. And of course users can also share these with friends and family to get their opinion. Although they have just started offering this service to art galleries and artists as a sales & marketing tool, the app also gives users the capability to visualize any image on your device, perfect for home decorators, interior designers or simply anyone who’s ever considered enlarging a photo to hang on their wall.

The co-founders of Walnut Art (Vedran Arnautovic, Michael Gregorevic & Michael Joffe) have been working on the project for around 12 months, and as their first venture together it has been a big learning experience, “Like many ideas, WALNUT was born from necessity. For sure we’re interested in cool artwork, but we’re not artists. While looking around for art to hang on our walls at home, we discovered we were all frustrated by the lack of tools to help find the right one to suit our needs. We think this is a pretty common problem, so we decided to do something about it.”

To respond quickly to user feedback the team concluded that they needed to develop the whole app themselves. They were adamant it had to have a clean and easy to use interface so anyone could use it, and knew it was important to ensure it addressed the interests of both art buyers and art sellers, so multiple iterations were needed to get it just right. And it’s not just the typical art gallery the team are targeting, “We also think there is big potential for art fairs where as a buyer you have only one chance to buy something you like or miss out, so being able to instantly have that extra confidence that it will suit the environment at home is really valuable. Online-only galleries is another key area where we believe WALNUT can be really useful to art buyers, because without the ability to physically see an artwork people need something extra to convince them to buy online, and we’re confident WALNUT will deliver that.”

Getting from the initial concept to reality has been a huge amount of work for the team, but also extremely satisfying, “We’re really excited to see people starting to use it and hear suggestions for what features we should add next. It’s also nice to think we are helping more people find cool artwork that inspires them or speaks to them in some way, and that with WALNUT they are now able to go ahead and purchase it with the confidence that it’ll look fantastic when they see it on their wall every day.”

Having brought their idea to market, the team have now turned their focus to building the business and linking up with more artists and art galleries, but they acknowledge technologies like this move fast and in response are already planning new features to expand the app’s capabilities. “We also think this is just the beginning – right now there’s no reason this app wouldn’t work for other products like visualizing a TV on your wall or a rug on your floor, and moving on from there the possibilities are huge.”

More at their website: You can get the app for free for the iPhone over here.