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  • Kyle Chua

Google's ARCore Partners With Singapore Tourism Board For AI-Enabled Guided Tours

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Singapore's most popular tourist attractions now has a new tour guide – a virtual one at that.

Google
Credit: Google

Google announced at I/O 2023 that it has partnered with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to launch new artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled guided tours around two scenic spots in the island-city state, including Merlion Park and Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall.


The tours, which can be accessed via the Visit Singapore app, are powered by ARCore, Google's software development kit for augmented reality (AR) experiences. The search engine giant said that the tours are limited to previews for now, but they are expected to be fully launched on the same app by the end of the year.


The specific ARCore API that the tours use is Geospatial API, which was launched in 2022 to help developers create AR experiences for spaces in the real world. It uses Google's Visual Positioning Service (VPS) to enable developers to track the position and orientation, placing virtual content in the real world with realistic lighting and physics.


Google also said the tour uses different AI techniques to match images from the scanned environment against its model of the world from Street View images. That allows your device to understand exactly where it is, where the camera is pointed at and where AR content should be projected almost in real-time.

When you start the tour on your device, you'll be asked to point your device to your surroundings. Once the tour recognises where you're at, Merli, Singapore's tourism mascot, will ask you to follow it as it takes you across iconic landmarks and hidden gems. Each stop of the tour will feature an AR experience that you can interact with, from discovering the local dining spots to uncovering history through scenes from the past.


Google said one of the most exciting parts of the tour takes place at the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, where you can be serenaded by a string quartet performing on top of the national monument.


"Google's AR and geospatial technologies have expanded the possibilities of complementing travel

experiences with highly immersive and informative experiences when exploring a destination," said Miguel de Andrés Clavera, Group Product Manager at Google Partner Innovations (PI).


"We’re thrilled to work with the Singapore Tourism Board as the first Geospatial trusted tester for travel, and

harness the power of AR technology to augment the physical world and heighten the element of helpful

surprises for travellers and local explorers of Singapore," he added.


STB is Google’s first tourism partner in its global ARCore Early Access Program to develop new use cases for the software in the tourism industry.

 
  • Google announced it's partnered with the STB to launch new AI-enabled guided tours around two scenic spots in the island-city state, including Merlion Park and Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall.

  • The tours, which can be accessed via the Visit Singapore app, are powered by ARCore, Google's software development kit for AR experiences.

  • When you start the tour on your device, you'll be asked to point your device to your surroundings.

  • Once the tour recognises where you're at, Merli, Singapore's tourism mascot, will ask you to follow it as it takes you across iconic landmarks and hidden gems.






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