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Electric Objects' EO2 + Art Club

TECH

Electric Objects' EO2 + Art Club

Manage digital art like a music app and display it on the next generation device

by Evan Orensten
on 18 October 2016

The most advanced art display system just got a major second-generation upgrade. The EO2 from Electric Objects carries over a lot that we loved from the initial offering as well as plenty of new features and upgrades. The 23-inch matte-finish displaywith a 1080p HD LCD screen now is now half as thin at 3/4"; you can now easily add a frame to it to further personalize and match your décor (several styles are available). With access to over 20,000 (and growing) artworks, including work commissioned expressly for the platform and major museum collections, community playlists as well as the option to view your own works there's no shortage of great art to view. The system adapts to the light of the room it is in, dimming and brightening according to conditions. While the new hardware is great it's the new Art Club app (available for Android and iOS) that makes managing and displaying your art as easy as you manage your music, and the social and community additions allow you to share your art playlist and sees those of others who inspire you. It makes art-swapping much easier and using the device more enjoyable. There's plenty of art to choose from for free, but a monthly $10 subscription opens up helpful features and all of the content available for the platform.

We sat down with Electric Objects founder Jake Levine to check out the EO2 and Art Club app, and he reminded us of the brand's mission: "Art is this wonderful thing that very few of us get to engage with on a regular basis with any sort of meaningful depth. We can go to a museum if we live in major cities; maybe we do that once a month or once a year. We can go to galleries if we live nearby or get invited. Most people don't." Levine wanted to make art more democratic and connected. On the contrary though, "The internet has offered an incredible platform for art to reach people, but those experiences tend to be cacophonous or ephemeral or fleeting. Everything is competing for your click and your seconds of viewing time. That's not a great way to experience art." With the debut of the EO1 in 2014 he struck an interspace. 'How can we bring an art experience to everyone much like the gallery brings to a small number of people, but as accessible as the internet?' We replaced it with something quieter and slower." As users of the EO1, we attest to its value and the rich artistic experience it offers. A co-worker shared that when her kids ate breakfast they talked about what art was displayed on the device, and called out for their favorites. We love that the EO2 can help facilitate inspiration and art education.

"The collection is something constantly growing, something that we are adding to every week. It is designed for this art experience and nothing else," Levine continues. The app is now essential, the key to the the new Art Club subscription service. "It's also what you use to control the EO2," Levine says. "It was developed to create an experience as simple and pleasant or delightful as Netflix or Spotify, but for this form of expression that's been dramatically underserved." Art Club is a curated service, while the library was once community-driven to a large degree. Now the team at Electric Objects is going out and sifting through the millions of art works museums have digitized and are making select items available. The app is easy to use, and the subscription service makes it even easier. There is a brief lag time in sending art from your phone to the device, but that's because the phone is pinging a main server and the server is sending the update to your display. The selection though is extraordinary and one can make playlists from their favorite pieces—moving or still.

When asked what's been learned since the company launch, Levine says, "EO1 left a lot of avenues open for further exploration." Getting very specific, he shares a tangible, physical change: "There was a port on the back of the computer inside the EO1 display that offers an ethernet connection. We were like, 'Maybe this is for hotels and this could be useful. That would be a great place to get it into the public imagination.' But what we've done over the last two years is narrowly focus in on the home and the consumer." For the home, this isn't a digital frame that scrolls through family photos. It's a mini-gallery offering access to troves of beautiful pieces shifted with the touch of a button.

The EO2 is available online for $299 (lower than the price of the EO1). The EO Art Club is available through any of the accompanying apps for $10 a month, though a subscription isn't required to access a lot of free art and operate the device.

Images courtesy of Electric Objects

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