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

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.

 

 

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