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AR technology to make "red envelope war" more fun in lunar New Year

(CRI Online)    20:47, January 12, 2017

Tencent's QQ has announced that AR red envelopes will be put online on the app during the upcoming Chinese New Year. [File photo: Chinanews.com]

Grabbing a digital "red envelope", a cash gift exchanged through a smartphone app, is a popular activity during lunar New Year in China. The activity is expected to become even more fun with the emergence of AR (Augmented Reality) technology.

Tencent's QQ and Alipay, two popular apps in China, have announced that AR red envelopes will be put online on the apps during the upcoming Chinese New Year, according to a report by Chinanews.com.

Unlike conventional digital red envelopes that one can open by simply touching the screen of their smartphones, the two companies have said that opening the new AR offerings will be more akin to Pokemon Go.

"The essence of the red envelops is still about socializing, and AR technology is just a tool. By incorporating the AR technology to our app, we hope it will bring more fun to our users while giving out red envelops, "said Tencent Vice President Yin Yu.

People experience Alipay's AR red envelopes during an event in Beijing. [File photo: Chinanews.com]

According to the latest information disclosed by the two companies so far, users will be able to hide a red envelop in a certain place and then set other information about the red envelope, including a map to its location, and the people who will be eligible to find it.

The information about the red envelope, and an invitation to find it, can be sent to the users' friends through social platforms like WeChat. The finders must go to the place where the AR red envelope was hidden before they can grab it through the app.

The giving of red envelopes on occasions like Chinese New Year is a tradition among the Chinese people. Typically, older members of the family give the red envelopes to the children in the family to celebrate lunar New Year. In modern times, the tradition has evolved into a game among young people.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhang Tianrui, Bianji)

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