If you're sitting in a coffee shop and you spot a neat mural on the wall, you could soon use your smartphone to identify the local artist who was behind it. A new feature of Google Lens currently being tested in San Francisco will recognize the artworks you see outside of galleries and tell you how to contact the artist.
To use the feature, go to the Google app on your smartphone and open up Lens. Then point the camera at the artwork you're interested in and tap the blue dot. This brings up a slider with information about the work, which you can tap to see a biography of the artist plus their contact details.
The feature is created in partnership with Wescover, a digital art discovery platform, and the discoverable artworks are shown on a map of San Francisco if you fancy going on an art hunt. This includes works which are on display on the ground floor of San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art, in the In Situ exhibition restaurant.
The CEO of Wescover, Rachely Esman, says she hopes that the project will help people to learn about art and will raise the profile of artists who create the artworks seen around the city. "We are excited to give creators the credit they deserve," Esman said in a statement. "With these exact matches, we help consumers bridge the gap between inspiration and sourcing as they can trust the results they're getting. Our hope is to enrich every physical environment with digital context and stories."