Looking at your Instagram newsfeed will never feel the same after you install the InstaGallery augmented reality app developed by ISL. The idea to develop such an app came from the belief of Associate Director of Marketing, Josh Strupp, that Instagram posts have an artistic quality, almost like browsing a museum. And he wanted to make that experience even more personal and interactive for each Instagram user.
InstaGallery—the Augmented Reality App that could Transform Instagram
As new technologies get more pervasive, people also grow curious about how various experiences would feel with the touch of AR and VR. Facebook has already created a VR social media platform. Various apps add augmented reality features. In this active context, a team of specialists decided to turn their attention to Instagram.
The choice is obvious: Instagram is a 100% visual social media platform. It is all about the framing, the filters and the image quality. Few users bother to read captions beyond the first hashtags. There is also the precedent set by Snapchat, which added AR filters to its videos with booming success.
The question is: can this augmented reality app make Instagram more exciting and immersive? Possibly. It certainly has the potential. But how does it really work?
The Specs behind InstaGallery
According to Josh Strupp, InstaGallery is built using custom Cinema 4D-generate assets, ARKit and the Instagram API. At present, it is “a functional augmented reality prototype,” according to the company’s blog post on Medium, announcing the app.
The algorithm of the app selects the top 6 photos of an Instagram user and displays them in 3D golden frames. As soon as this top changes (it is not clear what criteria are used for this top, presumably the algorithm used by Instagram itself), the augmented reality app automatically changes the images in the 3D frames.
The video presentation of the InstaGallery app indicates that the users can simply point their mobile phones to a vertical flat surface, turn on the app, and see the respective Instagram photos as if they were framed paintings displayed in a museum.
Unfortunately, there is little interactivity in the app. While the display in gilded, decorated frames adds a touch of décor to Instagram photos, it is not clear whether users can do anything else beyond look at them.
An Experience Reserved for iPhone Owners
Another downside of InstaGallery is that this augmented reality app will be available only for iOS at the beginning. There are no indications of when or if an Android version will be available.
As stated above, InstaGallery is currently a fully functional prototype. Only time will tell if it will grow into a more interactive app, available for a larger number of mobile phone owners. We will also have to wait and see whether this augmented reality app will really be a driving force behind the change Instagram users would like to see in terms of incorporating new technologies into the social media platform.