You can now use AR in National Museum and it's not to catch Pokemons

PHOTO: National Museum of Singapore, National Heritage Board

For those who regard museum visits as boring - think again. It's now possible to "play games" at the National Museum of Singapore using a virtual and augmented reality app.

That's right, just like playing Pokemon Go. And it is done with the museum's new Tango-enabled Architectural Tour, which transports visitors back in time and brings them on a journey of how the museum evolved over time.

Tango, a technology platform created by Google, is a set of sensors and computer vision software that enables smartphone augmented reality (AR).

The National Museum of Singapore is among the first museums in the world to adopt this location-based technology, said the museum today.

Using indoor mapping, virtual reality and AR technology, visitors will be able to explore how the building has evolved over the past 130 years on top of viewing previously displayed artefacts - such as the famous Revere Bell that former US President Barack Obama mentioned during his toast remarks to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the 2016 White House State Dinner in Washington DC.

There are currently six points of interest during the tour, including the opportunity to have an AR view of the museum's iconic Indian Fin Whale skeleton.

The 42-feet-long skeleton occupied the exact same space in 1907 and was returned to Malaysia in the 1970s, said the museum.

Registration is free but on a first come, first served basis - so if this tour is right up your alley, you might want to book yourself a slot soon.

A gentle reminder: Catching Pokemons is not part of this tour despite the use of AR.

The Tango-enabled Architectural Tours will run from April 22, 2017. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.sg.

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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