The Magic Tate Ball
Inspired by the ever-popular Magic 8 Ball, the Magic Tate Ball app presents users with a different artwork from the Tate Collection each time their phone is shaken. Using GPS and weather data, ambient noise levels and time of day, the app will, in theory, chose the best match to your circumstances
The Magic Tate Ball was devised by digital agency Thought Den in collaboration with Tate Media and is sponsored by Bloomberg as part of its ongoing support of things digital at the galleries. It was built by Thought Den and Mobile Pie.
The app gathers data on your whereabouts, the time and date, the local weather and even ambient noise levels to make its predictions.
When I downloaded it on a rainy Tuesday morning at CR's offices, its first response was to suggest Edward Burra's 1930 painting The Snack Bar as an appropriate artwork for me - well, it was nearly time for elevenses.
Touch the 'Find out why" button and you are presented with an explanation for the Magic Tate Ball's choice, in this case, it chose the painting because "This looks like a typical Soho café [CR's offices are nearby] – maybe you should drop in?"
My second go threw up William Blake's Newton, because Blake was born on Broadwick Street, just down the road from CR - evidently the GPS function was working well.
One more try and I was given Tuesday Weld by Peter Blake. Because, er, it was a Tuesday?
The Magic Tate Ball's suggestions were getting less apt but it works well and is fun to use. There is also an educational element - each picture comes with a short description. The app also encourages visits to Tate Modern, promising to unlock a hidden bonus feature if the user goes there.
This is the third in a series of Tate mobile apps aimed at introducing new audiences to art, previous releases being Race Against Time, in which users travel through the history of modern art in order to defeat the evil Dr Greyscale's plans to remove all the colour from the world, and Tate Trumps, a kind of Top Trumps game for art.
The Magic Tate Ball is also available for the Nokia OVI platform, here.
CR for the iPad
Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month. Try a free sample issue here
CR in Print
The May issue of Creative Review is the biggest in our 32-year history, with over 200 pages of great content. This speial double issue contains all the selected work for this year's Annual, our juried showcase of the finest work of the past 12 months. In addition, the May issue contains features on the enduring appeal of John Berger's Ways of Seeing, a fantastic interview with the irrepressible George Lois, Rick Poynor on the V&A's British Design show, a preview of the controversial new Stedelijk Museum identity and a report from Flatstock, the US gig poster festival. Plus, in Monograph this month, TwoPoints.net show our subcribers around the pick of Barcelona's creative scene.
If you would like to buy this issue and are based in the UK, you can search for your nearest stockist here. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 292 3703 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.
Wow. That is pointless.
@ Carl Simpson
Why is it pointless?
I usually try and give work the benefit of the doubt, but I must say this almost looks like a student project. Ignoring the idea for a minute, the design looks distinctly off-brand to my eyes. After relaunching an elegant, minimal website fairly recently, I'm surprised to see this signed off by the same client.
Of course, I agree there are times when we should stray off-brand, but in this case it seems to have more harm than good.
I think it's rather fun.
agree with Carl. further I believe this blog may unfortunately be tanking..
different audience darling
It's not 100% to my taste, but it's doing what the Tate is forever striving to do - finding fresh ways to give classic artwork a place and context in modern times, and opening it up to a wider audience. By 'wider audience' I don't mean those who make sniping, less than constructive criticisms on design blogs.
I agree with Fran; this is another way of bringing art to the masses. And personally I like the design, even though it doesn't really fit with their new site design.
This is an app. The design of it has a job to do: appeal, be fun, make people want to use it and feel warm and fuzzy while they do. Or whatever. But its primary goal is not too be a carbon copy of the website style. What purpose would that serve in what is, essentially, a kind of mini computer game? The FUNCTION here is key, not promoting the brand.
I don't get creatives sometimes – so keen to "push the brand" whether they ought to or not, and the next minute getting all uptight about following rules that don't exist…
Hater's gunna hate!
The app appeals to a completely different audience and serves a different purpose than the website - therefore it shouldn't need to be completely on-brand. @Paul why is it doing more harm than good? Who's it harming?
The app serves as an excellent gateway to make classics accessible to a more tech-savy and younger generation. It's also excellently designed in it's own right :) Well done ThoughtDen
|Enzo of the Antarctic (7)|
|The new Flickr: thoughts? (28)|
|Black Rat Projects displays Josh Cole photography (3)|
|YCN Studio creates ChildLine animation for abuse victims (2)|
|Studio Output designs Ministry of Sound tube campaign (5)|
|The billboard turning thin air into water|
|Step into my cardboard office...|
|Paul Arden: a true maverick|
|Image Duplicator: pop art's comic debt|