Explore heritage? Just tap the app

Explore heritage? Just tap the app
The Culture Explorer app was developed by Samsung Electronics Singapore in collaboration with the National Heritage Board and National Parks Board.

Singapore's heritage has gone digital with a new mobile application that gives users information about heritage landmarks here on the go.

The Culture Explorer app was developed by Samsung Electronics Singapore in collaboration with the National Heritage Board and National Parks Board, and will make use of augmented reality technology to allow users to experience heritage sites here virtually.

Users just need to point the camera phone at features on landmarks and information about the feature will appear. Among the things the app can do is to show a timeline with old pictures of the landmark. Users will also be able to superimpose their own photos on the old pictures, as if they were there when the picture was taken.

Currently, the app has information about the National Museum of Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall. The Arts House and Raffles Hotel will be part of the app by July.

Samsung also aims to play a part in the education of communities about Singapore's heritage through its school outreach programme.

It will provide worksheets and prizes to students in school programmes, and will even train teachers to guide the students as well as loan Android devices.

This will all be free. A pilot run was conducted in Gan Eng Seng Primary School and another will be conducted in Yangzheng Primary School in July.

"Technology is the perfect medium to link the past with the present, to connect communities and generate greater appreciation of Singapore's culture and heritage," said Ms Esther Low, acting head of corporate marketing at Samsung Electronics Singapore.

But the application has some kinks to iron out. "The information is good, but the application is not very user-friendly or intuitive," said Ms Clarice Ch'ng, 18, a project assistant who tried the app. Culture Explorer is available on Android for free.

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This article was first published on May 29, 2015.
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