Ahead of Google I/O, the company has unveiled a new high-res camera capable of taking “gigapixel” images. But don’t get too excited – it’s not exactly made for the masses.
Called the Art Camera, the device was created for the Google Cultural Institute to photograph artworks from museums around to world to archive and preserve them. Google says the camera is so powerful, you can zoom in to see all the brush strokes and dabs of oil paint in a Van Gogh piece, for example.
It works by photographing an art piece inch by inch to capture ultra high resolutions of each part of the image. Then, the photos are sent to Google’s servers to be stitched together. The process is said to take just hours, as opposed what would previously take days.
Currently, the archive has more than 1,000 artworks in its catalogue from collections around the world. You can explore the gallery and search manually, or click on the museum or artist name to see more.
Google has built only 20 of these Art Cameras to be used for archiving purposes and will only be working on flat, 2D images for now. You can check out the current collection here.