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Meural is a screen that brings fine art to your home

Tech startup Meural is dabbling in fine art -- and it's actually pretty cool.

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David Priest
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David Priest

Editor

David Priest is an award-winning writer and editor who covers home security for CNET. When he isn't waving his hands wildly in front of motion sensors or making faces at video doorbells, he spends his time playing board games and video games with his wife and family.

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Meural

Most people (me included) don't have the money to collect art. But for art lovers and collectors, there's nothing quite like hunting down the perfect piece to hang behind that love seat or over the mantle. Meural is a device for those in between: the people who might not have the time or money, but still recognize the beauty of a painting. And while Meural isn't bringing art to the people, per se (it costs $600), it is making personal curation of art just a little more accessible.

Here's how it works: you hang up the poster-size frame in your home, and the LCD display can pull up one of over a thousand paintings from various artists. Then, using motion-tracking technology, users can either swipe their hand right or left to cycle through pieces, up to reveal information about the piece or down to hide that information.

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It's a simple interface, but the real magic is in its visual design. Meural, according to its developers, doesn't look like an LCD display. Its backlighting is dynamic, making both better contrast and optimization for different media (such as oil on canvas) possible. The result should look like a real painting -- one that could cost a couple hundred dollars -- but can be changed at no cost. You can even upload your own work and play films and GIFs like you might see at the MOMA in New York.

Meural is a cool concept -- especially for millennials like me who are interested in art, but don't have the capital to cultivate their own collections. It's already shipped an initial offering of units, but since receiving more independent funding, its developers plan to expand its availability considerably.

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