Singapore

Augmented reality fun at car-free event

Roads in Telok Ayer, Civic District closed till noon

People watched a junk pop off a mural behind the historic Thian Hock Keng temple and then come to life in Telok Ayer Street near Chinatown yesterday.

Those who descended on the year's first Car-Free Sunday SG - usually held on the last Sunday of the month - were treated to a dose of augmented reality (AR) fun for the first time.

Local app developer LDR Technology introduced a heritage trail at the Civic District and Telok Ayer Street on its app, LocoMole.

Visitors learnt about Singapore's history through 3D graphics, photo challenges and videos through the app.

Several roads in Telok Ayer, the Civic District and the surrounding areas, spanning a total of 5.5km, were closed yesterday from 8am to noon to allow for fun activities to be held.

Refreshments ranging from Milo to the isotonic drink Pocari Sweat were offered to pedestrians, cyclists and trishaw riders as they passed the National Gallery at St Andrew's Road.

Lantern-making classes, Chinese puppet shows and a lion dance performance reminded all of Chinese New Year next month.

Interest group Love Cycling SG urged people to consider the space a car takes up, compared with a bicycle.

Co-founder Woon Tai Woon, a professional designer, built a car-shaped bamboo frame around his bicycle to show how much space could be saved on the roads if more people cycled instead of driving.

Mr Woon said: "We have been supporting this event... and we hope that we can encourage more people to exercise more and to consider the environment's needs."

Car-Free Sunday SG is a community initiative helmed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and supported by a host of community and interest groups.

The event is currently in its third year.

Private tutor Lee Jern Ee, 37, said: "I really look forward to Car-Free Sunday SG. Everyone is having fun, and there is a community vibe in the air.

"There are also a lot of activities to look forward to, especially if you are a sports fan like me."