Google HK Launches AR Experience to Share Happiness in Hong Kong

Published 21 December 2020, 20:23

Sennep has collaborated with Animade to create HO JENG AR, a playful AR app experience by Google HK to bring joy and positivity to the citizens of Hong Kong.

Designed to spread positivity after a turbulent year in Hong Kong and around the world, the app is part of a wider 'Share Joy' campaign to encourage people to rediscover the everyday magic of the city and create and share joyful moments. Sennep designed the user experience and interface of the AR app.

The HO JENG AR app uses augmented-reality and introduces six iconic Hong Kong-inspired characters for people to interact with as they explore the city. With elements of gamification, the AR app encourages users to scan key cultural objects on their phones, unlock and interact with the six characters, collect Joy Points and get surprise rewards, special offers and discounts as they move around.

A virtual host, Lenni, introduces the HO JENG AR story and uses machine learning to analyze shapes in its viewfinder, nudging people in the right direction and getting more excited as they hone in on the correct object. When an item is recognized, an animated character is unlocked. Each one can be placed, scaled and rotated, ready for some virtual fun and games.

"We loved the brief to spread smiles and positivity in Hong Kong," commented Matt Rice, Creative Director of Sennep. "Working with Animade's delightful characters and imagining an interface that would complement their design and allow users to play with them, create scenes and share, was a real treat.

"Our goal was to add playfulness to every touchpoint of the interface, down to the smallest detail. From the animated host character to the system of 'joy points,' achievements and sharing stickers, everything was designed for a joyful experience.

"AR also gave us the opportunity to blend the digital and physical worlds. By rewarding users with points to buy virtual skins or unlock real-world offers from community partners, we tapped into both worlds to reconnect people with the delights of Hong Kong."

"This was a dream project for Animade - a brief that focused on spreading joy, with character at the very heart of it all," Tom Judd, Founding Director of Animade added. "It pushed us into new and exciting workflows and partnerships. Working together with Google HK, Sennep and Bit Studio, we produced a wonderful thing that brings smiles to Hong Kong in what has been a very difficult year for the city."

 

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