The Meural Canvas smart art frame is a new kind of smart home display that enables a wide variety of artworks from iconic museums, artists and image collections worldwide to be displayed on residential and corporate walls across Australia.
Ausdroid attended the unveiling of the Meural Canvas this week and was able to briefly interact with some demo models. Meural was recently acquired by NETGEAR as it seeks to diversify its product line into the smart home device space.
David Henry, SVP of Connected Home Products at NETGEAR commented:
“We are building a platform that has the power to connect visual art to new audiences on a global scale – something that has never before been possible. Within seconds, billions of dollars’ worth of the world’s most renowned artwork can appear on thousands of walls across the country.”
A Wi-Fi connected smart art frame, Meural is built with patented “TrueArt technology” a blend of hardware, firmware, and algorithmic software that claims to render each image as rich and vividly textured as a museum original.
• Display: 29 x 19 x 1.6 inch, 27-inch IPS Display with Anti-Glare Technology (1920 x 1080 Full HD Resolution) 300 cd/m2
• CPU: 1.8 GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex-A17
• Memory & Storage: 2GB DDR3 RAM, 8GB Memory Capacity (4GB available for personal upload)
• Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
• Warranty: 1 year
In the USA the accompanying Meural Art Library is available via subscription only but in Australia a 3 year subscription is bundled into the cost of buying Meural.
The Meural Art Library is a searchable, curated collection of licensed artworks sourced from top museums and cultural institutions, including classics like Rembrandt and van Gogh, to NASA satellite imagery, to contemporary digital works and copyrighted works from the estates of artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Marc Chagall, and Jackson Pollock.
Australian artwork from the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide is also available via the Meural Art Library, with hopefully more local art added in the future.
Netgear is quite reasonable with its profit share too, sending 50-60% of the $70/year Meural art subscription fee directly to the artist / their estate.
Users can also upload their own artwork and photography to the Meural Canvas to display it instantly in a gallery-worthy format. This is a chance for users to enjoy their own style of art, whether it be a stunning photo they’ve taken, or whether they just consider themselves humble meme merchants (as we understand this is a great surface for those):
The Meural canvas is said to be simple to use either with Meural’s mobile app, gesture control, or voice control via Amazon Alexa. Ausdroid is looking forward to testing these claims in the near future once review loan Meural units are available.
A simple wave of the hand allows users to browse individual artworks and curated playlists, as well as access settings. Users can also customise their canvas settings, ‘favourite’ artworks, curate and schedule art playlists, adjust the Canvas’ light sensitivity and more, through the app or online dashboard.
“Over the past decade, we’ve seen emerging technologies breathe new life into almost all creative mediums – music, television, music – and herald new opportunities for their respective creators.
Meural was born from the sentiment that visual art – one of the oldest forms of expression on earth – had been left behind by the tech world. We believed that there was a way to use technology to bring art into people’s everyday lives.” Vladimir Vukicevic, Meural Co-Founder and Senior Director of Digital Canvas Products at NETGEAR
Meural Canvas is available in several designs and colours. The Leonora (named after artist Leonora Carrington) available in black and white is RRP $1199 , the Winslow (named after painter Winslow Homer) made from walnut is available at an RRP of AU$1299.