By Nurdianah Md Nur
June 19, 2017
President trying out the Image Recognition technology, which triggers information about the various displays around the Istana Heritage Gallery. Credit: MCI photo by LH Goh; from President Dr Tony Tan's Facebook.
Visitors to the Istana can now take a multi-sensorial journey to learn more about Singapore's history and heritage via three new mobile educational trails.
Available via the LocoMole mobile app, the mobile trails will augment visitor experience to the Istana Heritage Gallery and during the Istana Open Houses.
The first trail is the Presidents' trail, which was jointly developed by students from Temasek Polytechnic and Yusof Ishak Secondary School, in collaboration with the President's Office. By following the trail which covers seven hotspots within central Singapore, visitors will learn the story of Singapore's Presidents and their contributions to the country.
"The collaboration between [the two schools is a] partnership of strengths -- Yusof Ishak Secondary School with their content development skills and Temasek students with their game design. The students then used LDR's platform to publish the location-based trails, leveraging on technologies such as augmented reality, beacons and image recognition, to create an interactive experience for users," said Dr Nalaka Edirisinghe, Senior Manager, Curriculum Management & Course Manager, Diploma in Information Technology, Temasek Polytechnic.
The other two trails were developed by students from the Singapore Management University (SMU), in collaboration with the President's Office.
Featuring eight hotspots, the Istana Heritage Gallery trail showcases Istana's history using interactive elements which interplay with the state artefacts, artworks and state gifts on display at the gallery.
For instance, visitors can use Augmented Reality (AR) to view an aerial photo of the former nutmeg plantation at the panel on Early to War Years in the gallery. They can also use the Image Recognition technology through the app to scan the bust statue of Singapore's first President, Encik Yusof bin Ishak, and watch a short video on the sculptor.
Meanwhile, the Istana Park trail will take visitors on a discovery tour of the flora and fauna around the Istana Park. There are four hotspots in this trail, of which three of them feature in-app games to test visitors' knowledge on buttterflies, as well as learn about the biodiversity in the water lily pond and the different types of ginger.
"It's exciting to see SMU students collaborating in the innovation process through an academic module, 'Leadership and Teambuilding', where trails can enrich visitors' experience, giving them deeper insights into the Istana, its heritage and the role it plays in the nation's development," said Dr. Jayarani Tan, Senior Lecturer, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, SMU.
Besides using the mobile educational trails, visitors can use the Istana Guided Walk mobile app or follow the guided walks and tours to learn more about the Istana.