Skip to main content
The Keyword

Google in Asia

Discover Singapore through an immersive augmented reality tour

Image features Singapore’s map with a phone and overlay of Merli’s Immersive Adventure, an augmented reality tour of Singapore

At Google I/O 2023, we announced a partnership with Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to create “Merli’s Immersive Adventure”: an augmented reality (AR) guided tour of Singapore’s landmarks and best hidden secrets. This innovative AR tour, powered by Google’s ARCore and Geospatial Creator, is accessible in the Visit Singapore Travel Guide app.

STB has expanded to even more landmarks around the city with interactive AR experiences to kick off the 2024 travel season. AR makes it easier for travelers to discover new sights, and provides a richer understanding of Singapore through immersive storytelling. Increasingly, AR and similar technologies have become particularly popular in the travel industry. “STB actively looks for possible tourism use cases in emerging technologies like Extended Reality (XR),” says Simon Ang, the STB Director for The Collaboratory. “We’ll always be open to piloting new technologies to create novel experiences for visitors, and are excited to be working with Google to pioneer this movement.”

In this latest launch, Singapore’s tourism mascot, Merli, guides travelers through six stops in the popular tourism precincts of Singapore’s Civic District and Chinatown. Through a mix of historical, cultural and culinary experiences, both tourists and residents alike can explore and learn more about these areas. For instance, travelers can visit Singapore’s first-ever post office at what is now the Fullerton Hotel — and even send a virtual postcard to their friends or family. At the Great Emporium stop, they can marvel at a life-sized bumboat brought to life in AR and learn about the significance of the Singapore River for the city and its people. Merli also uncovers hidden spots like the Peranakan Tile Gallery, a local Chinatown business that sells tiles salvaged from demolished shophouses. And at Maxwell Food Centre, the interactive AR map of the popular food spot offers recommendations for must-try hawker dishes, helping first-time visitors visually navigate the vast range of food options.

Image features Singapore’s tourism mascot Merli in front of the historic Fullerton Hotel

Travelers can visit Singapore’s first-ever post office at what is now the Fullerton Hotel - and even send a virtual postcard to their friends or family.

As the first tourism partner in Google’s ARCore Early Access Program, STB’s in-house team of developers worked with the Google AR and Google Partner Innovation teams to design and bring to life authentic Singapore experiences in augmented reality. “Merli’s Immersive Adventure” is more than a guided tour— it’s a pioneering approach to travel and discovery. It invites tourists not just to see but to interact with and understand the intricacies of Singapore’s heritage and contemporary culture, right from their devices.1

Photo of three statues by a boat in front of a river

Visitors can witness history come to life in augmented reality at A Great Emporium, a sculptural ensemble of early-day workers.

STB shares a common vision with Google: to help people see the world and explore destinations in new ways. One shared objective is to grow the number of AR experiences at places of interest by leveraging immersive technologies like the ARCore Geospatial API that lower the barriers of entry to create location based AR content. Geospatial API empowers developers to build location-based AR experiences across more than 100 countries2 without having to ever physically be there. From immersive games like SPACE INVADERS: World Defense to educational and cultural tools like the exploration of street murals with Global Street Art, there’s a vast range of possibilities for this technology.

We look forward to working with more developers, creators, and brands around the world to use Google’s AR tools to create helpful AR experiences and make the world their canvas.

More Information


Disclaimer: Available on compatible ARCore-enabled Android and iOS devices that support Geospatial API. Internet connection required.


Disclaimer: Available in areas covered by Google Street View.

Let’s stay in touch. Get the latest news from Google in your inbox.