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Experience old Hong Kong through AR on the Hong Kong Observation Wheel

By Jen Paolini 23 November 2020

Whenever we go for a spin on the iconic Hong Kong Observation Wheel, the new heights it takes us to leave us in dizzying awe of Hong Kong’s glittering skyline. But we’ll admit that at times, the experience could use a little something-something to spice up the ride. If it has been too long altogether since your last visit to the Observation Wheel, get ready to travel back in time and see Hong Kong like never before with the Hong Kong Observation Wheel AR app—and its visual immersions of Hong Kong in the 1890s and 1960s!

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Encouraging visitors to unlock the historic beauty of Victoria Harbour and learn about the city’s development, the free mobile application is available on IOS and Android and gives visitors the opportunity to see Hong Kong from three perspectives: “Beyond the Beginning (1890–1920); “City in Transition” (1960-1980); and “Present Day.” When riding the Observation Wheel, the app overlays a full 360-degree visual recreation of bygone eras onto sights, such as the original Peak Tram, Lion Rock, first-generation Star Ferry Pier, Kai Tak Airport, and more! Visitors can simply scan the QR code at the waiting area of the Hong Kong Observation Wheel to begin the AR App experience.

Mapped out and curated by respected Hong Kong historians Ko Tim-keung and Jason Wordie, the Hong Kong Observation Wheel AR app is the first AR experience on a moving platform, providing an interactive experience powered by bespoke technology that combines both gaming and AR technology. Crowdsourcing amongst the Hong Kong community to find relevant historical images has also been pivotal for the two historians in creating a unique and accurate representation of Hong Kong’s past, as well as sourcing maps, photographic references, and multiple ship models from the neighbouring Hong Kong Maritime Museum.

Hong Kong Observation Wheel, 33 Man Kwong Street, Central

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Jen Paolini

Content director

Born in Hong Kong, raised in Germany, and educated in the U.S., Jen is an award-winning creative with a background in illustration, communication design, art direction, and content creation. When she’s not getting lost in a good book, you’ll find her doing crosswords, eating dim sum, covering all sides of a “Hamilton” number, and taking naps.