Tourists explore HK’s past with AR

March 27, 2019

Visitors can immerse themselves in history and culture in a new and innovative way through the augmented reality “HKACT! Act 1 BeHere” exhibit under the Design District Hong Kong (#ddHK) project.


People can step into the past and take a picture next to a dai pai dong, a roadside food stall, at the historic Blue House using AR on their mobile devices.


A traditional barber shop and children playing can also be found there.


“The Blue House is one of our locations of the AR work, actually from the past to nowadays, the Blue House area has not changed a lot, it still looks the same as it was,” Hong Kong Design Centre Project Consultant Sam Lam said.


“We think it is a very good location that we can actually have the historical site as a background and then we tell the little stories about old Hong Kong.”


Stroll over to Lee Tung Avenue and watch workers haul large blocks of ice, and travel to the Old Wan Chai Post Office to see a letter writer at work in scenes performed by actors through AR technology.


Ms Lam said: “I think nowadays it is very important to use new technology for tourism projects.


“We find that it is very good that we can actually recreate the whole scene of the past and present it in the present and it also acts as a very good tool for us to capture the past moment that it also attracts the tourists.”


Innovative tourism

The AR exhibits are part of the larger #ddHK, a three-year creative tourism project presented by the Tourism Commission.


The project also features #ddCreativePlacemaking, which spices up public spaces with design twists such as creative typography displayed on the gates of Kong Wan Fire Station.


Graphics emulating a lush natural environment on the ceiling of a busy footbridge in the heart of Wan Chai can also be found.


The project also showcases a green tram decorated with white graffiti to add colour to the district’s streets.


Opening the project today, Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau said locals and visitors can rediscover the city through design.


“The #ddHK project, particularly with the hashtag, meaning that we connect design and Hong Kong, we connect the new and the old, we connect business with daily livelihood through design,” he said.


#ddHK is focusing on Wan Chai and Sham Shui Po in its first year by exploring the districts’ traditions, heritage and history through a variety of creative activities.


Residents will be able to reconnect with these historic places and visitors can learn about, and even fall in love with the city through the project.

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