Sharing smiles in Hong Kong

Google HK wanted to bring joy and positivity to the citizens of Hong Kong with a playful AR experience. The ‘Ho Jeng AR’ app encourages people to rediscover the everyday magic of the city and share joyful moments.

The challenge

Encourage people to create and share joyful moments

Google HK wanted to change the narrative in Hong Kong to one of optimism and positivity. The aim was to encourage people to create and share joyful moments across the city by using their phones to scan key cultural objects to unlock and interact with six iconic characters.

Teaming up with animation studio Animade and creative technologists BitStudio, our role was to design the interface of the AR app in five fast-paced weeks.


Say hello to Lenni – your virtual host

The first time people open the app, virtual host Lenni – who has a knack for looking at things from new perspectives – introduces the HO JENG AR story and provides hints and tips to unlock the Hong Kong inspired characters.

Scan and unlock

A lens on the world, not just a pretty face

Behind Lenni’s expressive face, smart machine learning is hard at work analysing the shapes in his viewfinder. As users explore the scene, Lenni’s reactions help nudge them in the right direction, getting more excited as they hone in on the correct object. When an item is recognised, an animated character is unlocked. Each one can be placed, scaled and rotated, ready for some virtual fun and games.


Collect Joy Points and get surprise rewards

The more people interact with the characters the more Joy Points they earn. Joy Points can be used to unlock new skins for their virtual pals and can reveal surprise rewards provided by community partners.

The colourful cast of characters is highly responsive. With every tap, their joy levels increase. Leave them too long, their energy drops and they call for attention. Tap them too quickly, they fall back in a stumble or giggle. Push their joy level to the extreme, and they’ll break out into frenzied dance.


Create an augmented world of joy, add a sticker and share with friends.

User Interface

Adding playfulness to the interface, down to the smallest components.

“Using HO JENG AR you can rediscover the city’s vibe, appreciate the beauty of Hong Kong, and more importantly spread positivity and boost the well-being of family and friends.”

Leonie Valentine, Sales & Operations MD, Google Hong Kong


  • Product management
  • Creative direction
  • Game & UX design
  • UI design
  • Prototyping
  • Copywriting
  • illustration


  • Bridget Dawodu | Product manager
  • Matt Rice | Design director
  • Christoph Lorenzi | Technical director
  • Alex Thurman | UX & UI designer
  • Kin Leung | UX & UI designer
  • Jesse Belgrave | Account manager
  • Ben Templeton | Copywriting


  • Google Hong Kong | Concept
  • Animade | Character animation
  • Bit Studio | App development