When we started working on Meural, we knew it was important to observe existing behavior and attitude towards art and decor. Our first observation was: people wanted to interact with art. Many people pointed out that since Meural was about access, there needed to be some immediate form of control on the physical product.
Our second observation was: people don’t touch art. A part of it has to do with preserving the integrity of workmanship. Also people relate to wall art as a visual experience, not a tactile one.
Buttons or a dedicated remote didn’t make sense because that’s for TVs and monitors. Voice recognition has been tried on a number of products, but the adoption is slow, and the reviews have been weak. And we didn’t want to go down a path that changed the core focus of the value we bring to people.
Gesture control made the most sense. It’s immediate, it doesn’t require touch or sound, and it’s fairly simple. For over 6 months, we worked on different gesture control systems. We started with infrared LEDs. That worked well until we realized how much it would interfere with the aesthetic of the product.
Unless we left the LEDs exposed (with little holes), we had to cover it with an acrylic cover. That diminished the look of the Meural. People told us to maintain a clean, uninterrupted design.
Our advisors pointed us towards an e-field gesture control system that could be hidden behind our mat board. It leaves the frame design uninterrupted, can recognize gestures from 2-4” away, and it’s easy to learn and use.
We showed this to a 14 year old at our gallery in early April, he picked it up right away.
With a simple swipe, you can change your art, learn more about each piece, and switch over to different galleries. Digital Trends calls us the ‘Tinder for Art”.