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Our Buzzin App is Bringing More Magic to Manchester's Christmas Markets


This year, Sparta Digital has teamed up with Manchester Christmas Markets to offer visitors augmented reality (AR) treats via the Buzzin app.

After successful outings at Manchester Pride for the past two years and the Chinese New Year celebrations earlier in the year, CityVerve and Buzzin will bring more AR experiences to the city this November.

This time, the Buzzin app, created by Sparta, will be animating Christmas mugs at the festive markets. Revellers will be able to scan their mugs while enjoying their mulled wine or hot chocolate and reveal the hidden AR treats.

There’s something for everybody, including an augmented reality game for kids to play around the Markets, catching elves to help Santa to deliver all his gifts. And there’ll be a little reward waiting at one of the stalls for all who complete this Christmas challenge too.

Also included are points of interest, not only around the Markets but the whole city too.

Once users open their cameras, the home screen will show all the points of interest around the Christmas Markets and theirhave  current location.

AR overlays within the app will help them to easily navigate and locate the main attractions within the Christmas Markets, as well as toilet facilities, free cash machines and the ice rink. This is on top of the usual recommendations of shops, bars, restaurants and more that any visitor to the city might want to make use of.

The Manchester Christmas Markets are open from the 10th of November, and people can enjoy them up until the 20th of December.

Bringing events to life in new and interesting ways

Buzzin was created within CityVerve’s City Concierge use case, which sits within the Travel & Transport theme, one of the main aims of which is to help citizens discover the city around them via applications of smart technologies.

The Christmas Markets are another example of how Sparta Digital are introducing innovative wayfinding solutions to the public, while at the same time offering entertaining games and activities for users in popular public spaces.

Always keeping a citizen-centric approach in mind, Sparta has been working hard to collect user feedback and make appropriate improvements to the app.

FutureEverything, the lead partner of the Culture & Public Realm theme, has supported the project by providing market research expertise throughout the app development process.

Since the very beginning of the CityVerve project, Sparta Digital and Manchester City Council have been working closely together to understand the needs of visitors at attractions like the Christmas Markets.

It’s all about identifying the main issues and challenges posed by such a large event – and coming up with innovative new ideas to help create a more interactive experience for everyone.