Thousands of people pass by murals each day not knowing the story behind these monumental works of art. Our mission is helping people discover and learn about the stories behind the artists and their creations.

We want to pay homage to the artists that create these beautiful works of art, and ensure that the artists and their pieces get the recognition they deserve. Additionally, we want to bring to light how art influences culture in the city.

What's the impact of increased awareness for art?

Research* shows that increasing exposure to art makes a significant health and cognitive impact.

  • Students with arts educational experiences improved writing scores by 13%, increased their compassion for others by 8%, and reduced disciplinary infractions by 3.6%. There was a marked improvement in students’ school engagement, college aspirations, and ability to empathize with others.
  • In another study, adults who participate in at least 4 art-related activities reported good health, and 91% report a high level of satisfaction in their lives.

As the city gentrifies, we want to allow both locals and those new to the city to experience the art around them and support the artists in new ways.

In the initial version, we are depicting one mural in San Francisco called "La Lucha Continua" by artist Susan Greene.


What it does

When you encounter a mural in San Francisco, point your Facebook camera at the artwork.

The mural in the frame triggers contextual information to pop up in AR. In the current version, you can:

  • access an augmented animation of Martin Luther King, Jr. reciting a speech excerpt
  • see more details on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • get information about the artist, Susan Greene

Coming soon: you'll be able to see options to support the artist. If Spark AR adds hyperlinks to the internet, we can provide links to connect with the artist's social media and donate to them.

How we built it

10+ hours of teamwork, brainstorming, and guidance from Facebook developers.

We used Spark AR, JavaScript, and various imaging programs to create this experience.

Challenges we ran into

There were some crashes with the Spark AR program, and the Facebook developer team helped us with them.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We built an AR prototype that allows people to view murals, hear historical context on the art, and see information on the artists.

We tried implementing dynamic scraping of the content on the personalities and art pieces, but networking in SparkAR 75 is only available to Facebook Partners.

What we learned

We've learned about how to create augmented reality experiences on Spark AR.

Specifically, we learned to:

  • add target triggers
  • add audio
  • layer UI components
  • and integrate a backend into the experience

What's next for MuARals

We’ll be building a mapping feature where you can discover murals and other art works nearby, navigate to them, and create itineraries for a custom art walk.

Potentially, there can be an integration for murals outside of town, to make international murals more accessible to those who cannot travel.

In the future, we could monetize this by licensing to organizations, like schools and art education non-profits, to help them with their educational missions.

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