SINGAPORE - Visitors can now explore the Istana Park, Istana Heritage Gallery and key locations in the civic district on their own guided tours, with the introduction of three new mobile educational trails.
The trails aim to make the Istana more accessible to the public, said President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who graced the launch event.
"It's easier for people to come anytime, rather than four or five times during the Istana's open house," Dr Tan told reporters at the launch.
"I'm grateful to the staff and the students for spending months to curate and design the trails, and present them in a form that's meaningful," he added.
The trails went live on Wednesday (June 14).
Mr Png Bee Hin, chief executive of LDR Technology, which created the app, said: "In every exhibition, there is the limitation of space but technologies bring new information to the fore."
The Istana Heritage Gallery Trail, for example, showcases the Istana's history through interactive elements in the app. These allow visitors to learn more about the state artefacts, artworks and state gifts on display at the gallery, which is situated at the Istana Park.
The Istana Park Trail takes visitors on a tour of the flora and fauna around the Istana Park.
Meanwhile, the Presidents' Trail covers seven locations within Singapore's civic district. Each of these tells a story about a Singapore President, and his contribution to the country.
The Presidents' Trail was jointly developed by students from Temasek Polytechnic and Yusof Ishak Secondary School, in collaboration with the President's Office.
The other two trails were developed by students from the Singapore Management University, in a similar collaboration.
The trails use GPS technology to provide suggested locations, augmented reality, image recognition and beacons, which are a form of indoor GPS. Visitors can use the trails under the LocoMole app on their mobile devices.
Apart from stories about the landmarks, they also include quizzes, games and related trivia for visitors to read.
The students spent about three months creating the trails, after thorough research and groundwork.
Anushka Pradhan, 14, a Secondary 2 student from Yusof Ishak Secondary School, said: "My favourite part of creating the trail was getting to know more about the Presidents and learn their stories."
Leon Tan, 19, a third-year Temasek Polytechnic student, added: "We also hope to attract younger audiences through the app."