28 May 2015

Samsung launches Culture Explorer app to drive greater appreciation for Singapore's heritage

Samsung Electronics Singapore has launched the Culture Explorer mobile app to facilitate understanding and appreciation of heritage landmarks via augmented reality. Users of the app can learn interesting details about landmarks, such as the fact that the Singapore national anthem Majulah Singapura was written to commemorate the opening of a refurbished Victoria Theatre in 1958.

Singapore has been selected as the first Southeast Asian  country to roll out the app, which will enable users to learn about the history behind local landmarks. "Singapore is the Regional HQ for Samsung, so a lot of things that happen with Samsung happen in Singapore first," explained Esther Low, Acting Head, of Corporate Marketing, Samsung Electronics Singapore. 

Users will initially be able to see how the National Museum of Singapore, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall looked like in the past, and learn more about each landmark. Users can also take photos of themselves and superimpose the photos onto pictures of the landmarks. Timelines have also been created to show what a landmark used to look like over the years, and comments can be shared online. By July 2015 users will also be able to see what The Arts House and Raffles Hotel used to look like, with more locations to come.

Source: Samsung. Directions to the nearest heritage site.
Source: Samsung. Photos and facts about the site.

Culture Explorer is the result of Samsung partnerships with the National Heritage Board (NHB) and National Parks (NParks), which, with the support of the Singapore National Commission for UNESCO, were instrumental in selecting the landmarks and providing curated content. The NHB provided little-known facts such as that the National Museum of Singapore's dome is made up of fish scaled zinc tiles and 50 coloured glass panels, while NParks provided the content for the Singapore Botanic Gardens, including and details such as Swan Lake in the Singapore Botanic Gardens is home to a pair of Mute Swans.

Culture Explorer is compatible with all Android smartphones and tablets and can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store and from Galaxy Apps. It can be used in conjunction with the physical landmarks, or away from them. No registration is required. The app will be rolled out in the rest of Southeast Asia throughout the rest of the year.