Artopia lets you paint the world around you using augmented reality.

While some are still hot on the Pokémon GO trend, new AR apps are emerging every day. Today we’ll cover one app, in particular, launching on Android and iOS, that uses AR for real-time art creation.

Announced today with an accompanying Reddit AMA, Artopia uses your location and augmented reality to let you doodle on your surroundings. You can sign up here for early access.

But let’s take a quick look at what Artopia does and what people had to say about it.

Paint the Town Red (or brown, or whatever) Using #AR In @PaintWArtopiaClick To Tweet

Turn any Average Place Into an Artistic Canvas

Artopia applies the concept of graffiti with the technology of augmented reality.

By using your location data from your phone and tapping into your camera, you can start painting your environment. Why the location data? Well, so that the paint stays where you put it in the environment, of course!

Because the app is still in early access, not many details are available. Lucky for us, the creator Omar Khalil took to Reddit to answer everyone’s burning questions.

Of course, many of those questions didn’t surround how to create beautiful lines or even how Khalil developed the interface for the app.

They focused mainly on people drawing genitals (specifically male genitals). *NSFW*

image of American Vandal Netflix show for article Artopia: The New AR Art Design App
You know he did it. | American Vandal | Netflix via tubefilter.com

A Question of User Intent vs Artist Intent

The image above references the Netflix series American Vandal. While the series has nothing to do with AR, it does have something to say about intent.

Amid the flurry of questions about people drawing genitals, some users offered other comments. And, as with many innovations, some users focus on ways to improve and enhance the experience. Others . . . not so much.

Just take a look at what Reddit user PsychoNerd91 asked:

image of Reddit comment from user PsychoNerd91 for article Artopia: The New AR Art Design App
Reddit comment from user PsychoNerd91 via Reddit

Khalil enthusiastically responded. He also elaborated on some early access users:

image of Reddit comment from Vomar for article Artopia: The New AR Art Design App
Reddit comment from Vomar via Reddit

Other users, such as @boyuber, have more nefarious intentions in mind.

image of Reddit comment from user boyuber for article Artopia: The New AR Art Design App
Reddit comment from user boyuber via Reddit

Another user, @PM_ME_YOURMIRROR, suggested that each Artopia piece could be community rated. With a rating system, the community might avoid unnecessary or inappropriate paintings. 

A rating system could definitely help with that as could the reporting system.

Without one or both, users who do something similar to @boyuber’s suggestion could open up Artopia to a flurry of questions like:

  • Could this kind of thing be considered harassment moving forward?
  • Does this open up the question of privacy given that it reveals a person’s location?
  • Will the app be responsible for mitigating these actions or will local law enforcement?

Whether Artopia is the app to set the precedent or otherwise, these questions will need to be answered. But, hopefully, most users won’t use Artopia to antagonize other people. After all, it is intended to make the world more beautiful.

Make Love, Not War With Artopia

You can see a glimpse into the intended goal of creating art on Artopia’s Twitter page.

This Twitter video shows off a digitally drawn bouquet of roses and some of Artopia’s interface.

What kind of paintings would you create with Artopia?

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