Singapore taps 3D, AR to push tourism with Google Cloud

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) joined companies like Ford, BMW, KDDI and Lowe’s to be early adopters of Google Cloud’s Immersive Stream for XR service, which is now in public preview.

Immersive Stream for XR is a Google Cloud service that renders and streams immersive 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) experiences through the cloud. 

Experiences are rendered using powerful Google Cloud GPUs, enabling photorealism on any mobile device. Because these experiences are streamed, users can instantly enter the experience by clicking a link or scanning a QR code, without having to download an application. 

By leveraging this service, developers can significantly reduce the time taken for development and testing, as they can simply create content for a service knowing that it will run on any mobile device – regardless of model, year, or operating system.

STB is creating next-generation travel planning experiences using Immersive Stream for XR, with the goal of enabling the cinematic discovery of Singapore wherever users are.

“Collaborations like this allow us to tap into Google’s expertise and access cutting-edge digital capabilities, such as Immersive Stream for XR, to enable a more immersive and personalised next-generational visitor experience,” said Wong Ming Fai, CTO of STB. “These efforts will help us stay ahead of the curve and better anticipate the needs of our travelers as international travel resumes on a wider scale.”

With the launch of Ford’s Next-Gen Ranger, which will be built at Ford’s Auto Alliance Thailand and Ford Thailand Manufacturing facilities in Rayong province, Ford has used Immersive Stream for XR to create an immersive virtual showroom. 

Using any mobile device, prospective Ford buyers can explore the exterior and interior of vehicles like the Next-Gen Ranger, tap on 3D hotspots to discover key features, configure their ideal vehicle in 3D, digitally place the vehicle in their own driveway or real-world environment, and then make a purchase decision directly from their phone.

BMW is likewise using Immersive Stream for XR to allow users in North America to digitally place the BMW iX and BMW i4 car models into any real-world environment in vivid detail with usable virtual features, such as changing paint colors, lighting elements, and more.

Apart from players in travel and automotive, KDDI is using Google Cloud’s Immersive Stream for XR service to deliver photorealistic virtual samples of clothing to users to help reduce waste and advance sustainable fashion, while Lowe’s Innovation Labs is using Immersive Stream for XR to help customers design and visualize their dream kitchen.