The Hong Kong Observation Wheel gets its own AR app

In just six short years since it was first erected, the Hong Kong Observation Wheel has become an unmistakable part of the city's skyline. Now, thanks to augmented reality technology, it's cementing place in Hong Kong history even further.

AIA has launched the Hong Kong Observation Wheel AR App, a "world-first AR experience on a moving platform." The app is designed to immerse users in the city's history, letting them experience bygone eras of 1890s and 1960s Victoria Harbour using only their smartphone.

While riding the Observation Wheel, users can take a 360-degree glimpse through time back at local landmarks like the original Peak Tram, Kai Tak Airport, and the first-generation Star Ferry. By the end the journey, the user returns to present day, complete with modern visualisations of those same landmarks as well as a look at newer developments around the harbour.

The app was produced in collaboration with a multitude of technology experts, historians, and venue operators The Entertainment Corporation, who created an experience that unites both gaming and AR technology. Utilising maps and photos from the nearby Hong Kong Maritime Museum, the app receives information from GPS data, camera scans, and compass data to pinpoint and tailor the user experience at every point along the wheel.

“We are excited to support the introduction of this world-first technology that will provide an enriching customer experience for people of all ages and ensure that the Hong Kong Observation Wheel remains an iconic destination for many years to come," said Stuart A. Spencer, chief marketing officer, AIA Group.

“The AR app is a result of industry-wide collaboration, thanks to the investments by AIA, dedication of global and local technology experts, and support from the people and institutions of Hong Kong," added Alex Gibbs, commercial director at Hong Kong Observation Wheel.

"Using this cutting-edge technology, we enhance the experience of one of Hong Kong’s most loved attractions, and we look forward to presenting more developments in the future that continue to celebrate Hong Kong."

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