Auction houses turn to AR

Business

Auction houses turn to AR

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

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The world's top auction houses have turned to augmented reality (AR) to put bidders in the room with the pieces up for bids. AR is just one of the tools deployed by the likes of Christie's who have created virtual galleries.

Auction houses have long moved with the times, introducing telephone and online bidding for clients who could not be on location to raise their paddles or give a wink to the auctioneer.

Cat Manson, global head of communications at Christie's, revealed that they are pulling out all the stops to make sales as seamless as possible.

“We also have a clever augmented reality tool used during our recent global ONE sale [focused on 20th-century art]. As a result, our digital reach to clients and prospective collectors is unmatched, with 1.5 million users on Instagram across accounts, a billion active users on WeChat and a rich digital content platform that can continue to engage collectors daily during this interim period,” she said.

Sotheby's has also embraced the latest technology in an effort to reach clients. Their latest auction spread across four rooms in a global production which used 57 crew and 22 cameras. Many of the cameras were robotic to allow for social distancing in each gallery space.

Like many businesses, the auction world has taken this new approach with a boldness which suggests that the changes will stay. Based on the high level of participation, their clients have also given the innovations the seal of approval.


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