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Combining Tech and Learning: 5 AR/VR Attractions in Singapore

How to dive into Singapore’s emerging AR/VR scene.

In recent years, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have emerged as pioneering technologies for revolutionising and reshaping modern entertainment and education. These breakthrough technologies craft immersive experiences that blur the lines between the tangible world and the digital universe. AR enriches the real-world environment with digital enhancements, whereas VR transports users to simulated landscapes that offer new adventures or opportunities to explore.

Singapore, a city-state long renowned for its innovation and technological advancement, leads the rest of the world when it comes to leveraging these technologies for the express purpose of improving tourism. AR/VR attractions in Singapore are not merely showcases of the technological progress the country has managed to achieve, but also pivotal in drawing tourists. Many of these experiences, for instance, are highly educational, offering guests the opportunity to experience Singapore’s cultural richness in a unique, dynamic, and highly interactive way.

Let’s look at Singapore’s standout AR/VR attractions, promising not just amusement but also rich learning opportunities for visitors of every age:

Changi Experience Studio

Changi Airport is renowned as one of the best-designed, most efficient, and most innovative airports in the world. Newcomers to Singapore looking for what to do in Changi Airport won’t want to miss Changi Experience Studio, found in the airport’s Terminal 3. This attraction is an interactive digital playground that offers visitors the chance to experience cutting-edge aviation up close. Through engaging activities and captivating displays, Changi Experience Studio delves into the behind-the-scenes of Changi Airport and how it has become one of the globe’s most awarded airports. It’s a place where learning about aviation’s complexities becomes a thrilling game that all guests are sure to enjoy.

Trishaw 360 Singapore Stories

Step into the past and glide through the present with Trishaw 360 Singapore Stories, also located at Changi Airport’s Terminal 3. This virtual reality showcase offers a unique glimpse into Singapore’s heart through a blend of VR and 4D technologies. Here, guests embark on a trishaw journey that weaves through the city’s iconic landmarks. The fusion of historical narratives and sensory experiences—like the touch of mist or the scent of local flora—brings Singapore’s rich environment to life and creates an entertaining educational experience as it deeply connects visitors with the Lion City’s spirited legacy.

Jewel-rassic Quest

Jewel-rassic Quest at Changi Airport is an AR experience that transports participants back to the Cretaceous period, allowing them to encounter life-sized dinosaurs within the lush environments of the Shiseido Forest Valley and Canopy Park. It offers the thrill of discovery and the chance to get an up-close look at the marvels of prehistoric life.

This interactive adventure is suitable for participants aged 6 years old and above. They will be given a TimeLens device to navigate through the experience, which includes completing a mission involving activities and games centred around these ancient creatures. The quest’s ultimate goal is to find the AstroJewel, a special crystal with the power to address global warming today. Throughout this journey, players will be guided by an avatar, Ranger J99, and encounter various dinosaurs, engaging in tasks like the Dino Egg Hunt for additional challenges and trivia about Jewel Changi Airport. Mini-games allow further interaction with the dinosaurs, including feeding them or playing archaeologist, completing an educational and entertaining experience.

Merli’s Immersive Adventure

Merli’s Immersive Adventure is an AR guided tour created through a partnership between Google and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). Launched to kick off the 2024 travel season, this innovative tour uses AR technology to guide travellers through Singapore’s landmarks and hidden secrets, enhancing the sightseeing experience with immersive storytelling. It’s accessible through the Visit Singapore Travel Guide app, leveraging Google’s ARCore and Geospatial Creator technologies.

The tour features Singapore’s tourism mascot, Merli, who guides visitors through six stops within the Civic District and Chinatown. Highlights include visiting the Fullerton Hotel, once Singapore’s first-ever post office, where travellers can send virtual postcards. Other stops include the Great Emporium, where visitors can learn about the Singapore River’s significance, and the Peranakan Tile Gallery, showcasing tiles from demolished shophouses. At Maxwell Food Centre, an interactive AR map provides recommendations for must-try hawker dishes. This initiative marks Google as STB’s first tourism partner in the ARCore Early Access Program, which aims to explore the potential of extended reality (XR) technologies in tourism.

HeadRock VR

HeadRock VR, Singapore’s first VR theme park, presents a world where cutting-edge technology meets immersive, fun-filled experiences. Located at Sentosa @ Southside, this indoor attraction is split into two primary zones tailored to offer unique adventures for both adults and children. The VR Play Zone features eight themed VR experiences that range from thrilling rides to interactive shooting games. Meanwhile, the Kids Media Interactive Zone, titled “Hello! My Dino,” introduces a futuristic playground where children can engage in creative and interactive activities such as drawing, catching, and playing with virtual dinosaurs.

While the primary focus is on providing thrilling VR experiences, the interactive nature of these activities can stimulate learning and development in areas such as problem-solving, coordination, and even historical education through games that involve dinosaurs and other thematic elements. Moreover, the Kids Media Interactive Zone offers a creative outlet for younger visitors and encourages them to use their imagination and creativity in a digital environment.

Conclusion

As Singapore continues to explore new ways to utilise AR and VR technologies to boost tourism, these attractions stand as testaments to the city-state’s commitment to innovation. In addition to offering a glimpse into futuristic entertainment, they also stand to enrich guests’ understanding of history, culture, and the environment, making every visit a memorable journey of discovery.

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