Glow Up! Gastown AR FAQ

Q: What is Augmented Reality (AR)? 

A: Augmented Reality, commonly shortened to “AR”, is an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device (such as a smartphone camera).

Q: What’s the difference between Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)? 

A: Augmented reality (AR) adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone. Virtual reality (VR) implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world.

Q: Where are the AR art locations? 

A:(a) Maple Tree Square (intersection of Water & Carrall)

(b) Water Street at Abbott Street 

(c) Water Street at ??

Q: What is required to view VMF Winter Arts’ AR art? 

A: You will need a smartphone with a camera. You will also need the latest version of the Instagram or Facebook app installed on your smartphone with an active account. 

Q: Why do I need an Instagram or Facebook account to view the AR?

A: Gastown’s AR filters are created with SparkAR software, which is only compatible and viewable through these Instagram and Facebook. 

Q: How do I “scan” the QR code? 

A: For iPhones and some Android phones, simply open the camera function on your phone and aim it at the QR code to automatically activate the AR feature. Some phones will require a QR scanning app (free options available in the App Store and Google Play). Once installed, open this app and hold your phone with the camera facing the QR code. 

Q: Can I view the AR without the QR code? 

A: Yes, the QR code is simply a quick way to automatically open the app. You can also manually open the camera within your Instagram or Facebook app and search the ‘camera filters’ by account: “@mygastown” or filter name: “Glow Up Gastown”

Q: Troubleshooting: Why can’t I see the AR on my smartphone? 

A: There could be a number of reasons: 

  • Your smartphone camera may not be AR-compatible. Most newer-model phones are equipped with AR functionality but older models may not be compatible. 
  • You may need to download a QR scanning app to activate the filter. 
  • Your Instagram/Facebook app may be outdated (updating to the latest version should correct this).
  • When the filter directs you to “Tap to Place”, point your camera towards a horizontal surface (eg: ground) when you tap your screen. 

Q: How do I enter to win the $200 Gastown gift cards from Global Relay? 

A: Take a photo or video of the AR image on your phone. Post it to Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #glowupgastown. Winners will be drawn and notified weekly. Follow @mygastown for more details.