Artkick - Make All Your Screens A Museum Exhibit
Nerd Stalker interviews Sheldon Laube, the CEO of Artkick [www.artkick.com] -- a new Silicon Valley startup that is bringing digital art to every home in America and thus fully realizing Bill Gates' original vision.
Sheldon has been the co-founder of four startups—the first a software consulting firm (CCT) in his college dorm room (with Glenn Ricart). Since then he was the first Chief Information officer of PriceWaterhouse, the Chief Technology Officer of Novell, the co-founder of USWeb, the co-founder of CenterBeam, and the Chief Innovation Officer of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Artkick brings endless art streaming free to anyone with an internet connected TV. The images you love appear on your wall easily and instantly. Information and content on the art you view is visible on your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to learn more about art every day.
We downloaded the iOS versions and installed on an iPhone 5 and iPad Air then connected (via AirServer) to our mac mini media center which is connected to a Samsung flat screen TV. Upon install we were prompted to register for an account, I use Dashlane as my password manager since it auto generates a strong username and password. Finding the web based Artkick page was a challenge, i'm not sure if I registered for a Zendesk account or an Artkick account alas I gave up and opted to register via the iPhone.
Once in the app you immediately can get a sense of the vast collection that is provided to you, you also get a sense that is is not a native app. On occasion we experienced odd scrolling within the app where we could go to large blank areas by inadvertently swiping up and down especially when in "FullScreen" mode. We mirrored the pictures from the app to the TV via AirServer which uses the AirPlay protocol, it was clever how Artkick sends the hi res images to the TV and lower res ones on the handheld device.
We would love to see the app with a more contemporary design and refined in another update. That being said we greatly appreciate the app being html5. We would also love to see an end to end smoothing out of the experience design, meaning starting from the sign up scenarios all the way through to viewing pictures on a TV flow.
Sheldon did mention that Artkick is a freemium business model and will offer premium pay features in the not too distant future. The viewing features and sheer mass of free art makes installing Artkick a no brainer for any art enthusiast, educator or you.
Update as of 2/20/14 from Artkick, "Artkick 2.0 is live with our latest and greatest updates! If you don't have automatic updates enabled on your phone or tablet, be sure to get 2.0 at Google Play or the App Store.
Artkick has a new look and we have rearranged the menu structure to make important options more easily accessible.
Import personal photos from Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Picasa and SmugMug into Artkick. You can then create personal viewlists which mix together great images from Artkick's image library with your own photos. You can share these "mashups" with your friends who can get a copy of your creations with just a click.
You can now use Google's $35 Chromecast to enjoy Artkick on your TV. This is in addition to Roku players (from $50 and up) and 2013 model Samsung smart TVs (in the US). We also offer "demo" support for AppleTVs."