Fun facts about Istana via app

President Tony Tan, Mrs Tan and Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth visiting a National Museum booth at the Istana open house on Sunday.

SINGAPORE - Take out a phone, scan a QR code and up pops this factoid: The Istana was constructed in 1869 by convicts.

Thanks to a new app, visitors to the Istana will now be able look up on-the-spot information on the building and its grounds.

Called Istana Garden Walk, the app allows users to scan QR codes located at 12 areas of interest in the Istana gardens. The app will then display historical information about these areas.

The app, which was launched by President Tony Tan Keng Yam at an Istana open house on Sunday, was created as a final-year project by seven students from Temasek Polytechnic's School of Informatics and IT.

"The first time we came to the Istana, we were amazed at how many places of interest there were," said 19-year-old Ong Yong Siang, who worked on both the Android and iPhone versions of the app.

"We wanted to give visitors a deeper understanding of the background behind these places."

Locations featured in the app include the Istana's swan pond, front lawn, and main building.

"We are always on the lookout for real world projects which students can look into," saiddeputy director of the School of Informatics and IT, Dr Eng Pin Kwang, who oversaw the new app's development.

He added that projects like these help prepare them for the working world.

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