Samsung uses augmented reality technology to enhance appreciation for culture and heritage landmarks in Singapore.
Samsung Electronics Singapore has launched ‘Culture Explorer’, a new mobile application to facilitate understanding and appreciation of heritage landmarks via augmented reality technology. With ‘Culture Explorer’, learning about Singapore’s heritage is as simple as point and read, and it also brings the user back in time to see how these landmarks have evolved!
Singapore has been selected as the first Southeast Asian country to roll-out the app, which will enable users to learn more about the rich history and heritage behind beloved Singapore landmarks. In the initial launch phase, users will be able to see how the National Museum of Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens and Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall looked like in days of yore through the app. These visuals will be enhanced by interesting facts about the landmarks. To simulate the experience of going back in time, users can take photos of themselves and/or loved ones, and superimpose the photos onto pictures of landmarks. By July 2015, users will be able to broaden their heritage discovery adventures when The Arts House and the Raffles Hotel are included in the mobile application.
“Samsung believes that technology is the perfect medium to link past with present, to connect communities and generate greater appreciation of Singapore’s culture and heritage. ‘Culture Explorer’ enables users to appreciate the rich history of important landmarks in Singapore and helps to pique interest among the young generation with the use of augmented reality technology,” said Esther Low, Acting Head of Corporate Marketing, Samsung Electronics Singapore. “We also appreciate the strong support by our strategic and content partners – the National Heritage Board (NHB), National Parks Board (NParks) and Singapore National Commission for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) – in enabling us to bring ‘Culture Explorer’ to life,” she added.
‘Culture Explorer’ is a result of strategic partnerships which Samsung has forged. With the support of Singapore National Commission for UNESCO, Samsung established strong partnerships with NHB and NParks who were instrumental in selecting the representative landmarks and providing relevant content.
NHB played a critical role in calling out little known facts and nuggets of interesting information. For example, that the stately dome at the National Museum of Singapore is made up of fish-scaled zinc tiles and 50 coloured glass panels, and that Singapore’s national anthem Majulah Singapura was originally written to commemorate the opening of the refurbished Victoria Theatre in 1958.
Samsung also worked with NParks to curate content for the Singapore Botanic Gardens, including information like the Swan Lake at the Singapore Botanic Gardens being home to a pair of Mute Swan as well as other aquatic plants and fishes.
Engaging Communities with Culture Explorer
To support communities in learning more about these landmarks through augmented reality technology, Samsung will work with schools to bring heritage discovery to life for young students. For the pilot phase of school outreach, Samsung is collaborating with Gan Eng Seng Primary School and Yangzheng Primary School, to reach students on campus. Students will each be given a ‘Culture Explorer’ Kit, which contains activity sheets (featuring top facts and five simple Q&As) and tokens featuring the landmarks, to facilitate the learning process. Students will also get to redeem additional prizes – heritage games such as pick-up sticks, five stones and chapteh, when they successfully complete the activity sheets.
‘Culture Explorer’ is compatible with all Android smartphones and tablets, and can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store* and Galaxy Apps. No registration is required for users to enjoy full access to the app. Key features of Culture Explorer can be found in Annex 1.
*Google Play Store is a trademark of Google Inc.