An app developed with Apple's ARKit lets you see stolen paintings worth over $500 M

"Hacking the Heist" in action.

Apple's ARKit 1.5 will soon hit iOS devices and we're already curious what it is going to be used for. The new version of ARKit is expected to bring even more functionality into AR interactions and it seems like developers have already capitalized on the improvements. A company, called Cuseum, has developed an app to visualize stolen artworks into а museum as if the crime had never happened. The app is called "Hacking the Heist" and was developed entirely using Apple's ARKit.

To clarify things a little bit, we need to go back to March 18, 1990 – the date that served as an inspiration for the Cuseum team. On this day, two men, disguised as police officers, entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. They claimed to have received "a report of a disturbance" and convinced the museum guard to let them in. What followed next was one of the biggest heists in art history – 13 paintings, estimated to be worth around $500 million, were recklessly cut out from their frames. Despite the many investigations conducted since then, the crime is yet to be solved and the paintings are yet to be found.

"Hacking the Heist" may not complete the ongoing investigation or find the missing paintings, but it can help you see what those paintings looked like... in their frames! The way the app works is, you point your phone at one of the stolen paintings (currently only two out of 13 are "supported", with more to be added in the future) and it will show a replica of it on your screen, as seen on the video on top. What's more, the app includes an audio guide for all paintings, giving a brief history lesson on why was it made and what it depicts (because sometimes art can be difficult to understand, you know).

"Imagine if museums could clone their best guide or docent, have them available 24/7, and with the ability to speak multiple languages," Brendan Ciecko, founder of Cuseum, said. "Our platform empowers museums to do that", he added.

"Hacking the Heist" will be available for download on the App Store once the iOS 11.3 update gets released.

source: Engadget


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