Visualization Lab for Digital Art History

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A New Mobile Image Sharing and Projection App

Posted 2/17/2015 by Kathryn Stine

We’re seeing increased adoption of mobile devices used for sharing and projecting images in the classroom and at conferences. A new iPad/iPhone app called Wölff promises to improve mobile device use in serving up images; it got a lot of buzz at the CAA 2015 conference, where it was just launched.

Named for the Swiss art historian Heinrich Wölfflin (who embraced slide projection at the turn of the twentieth century) and designed for use on iPads, Wölff lets users crowdsource high-res images of works of art from a growing list of partner institutions. Created by Greg Bryda, an art history PhD student at Yale University, Wölff has been funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign. In Bryda’s words, the app “exploits the tactility of handling high-res digital images on touch screens,” supporting typical image investigation strategies used by art history faculty and students including panning, zooming, and side-by-side comparisons. Image presentations can be projected from an iPad/iPhone that connects to a projector system either using a dongle or wirelessly using AirPlay. Perhaps most exciting about Wölff is that those in the audience can follow along on their own mobile devices, exploring images both independently and concurrently with the presentation.

Wölff is available at several levels of service, with features and functions ranging from a basic, free subscription to fee-based subscriptions for either institutions or individuals. History of Art Visual Resources staff are eager to test-drive this promising app and will report back on its usability and suitability for incorporation into teaching for those interested in using mobile devices.

For more on Wölff, see this recent article in the Yale Daily News:

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