Visitors can use the app to find their way around or look for points of interest
Visitors can use the app to find their way around or look for points of interest

Manchester Christmas Markets set for augmented reality upgrade

The Christmas Markets in Manchester are getting an augmented reality upgrade this winter.

An app called buzzin will bring the attraction to life by allowing users to explore in new interactive and potentially entertaining ways.

Visitors can use the app, available on iOS and Android, to find their way around or look for points of interest. For example, looking at the markets through the phone’s camera will prompt pointers to appear on screen, giving users directions to toilets, cash machines, specific market stalls or the attraction’s ice rink.

It also features ‘Catch the Elves’, a Pokemon Go-style game for kids.

buzzin was developed by software company Sparta Digital in collaboration with Internet of Things smart city demonstrator CityVerve.

Manchester City Council’s Christmas spokesperson, Cllr Pat Karney, said: “Our world-famous Christmas Markets will enjoy a futuristic make over when they open this week.

“Be transported in the online festive world through the buzzin app and you’ll be fully immersed in our markets. I can’t wait to have a go.”

The council’s Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Luthfur Rahman, commented: “There’s something for everyone on the augmented reality app, and I think it’s going to help visitors find their way around and enjoy the attraction in a completely new way.”

Ashraf Anwar, senior developer at Sparta Digital, said: “Augmented reality is now the technology to watch with a great potential and unlimited possibilities.

“We’ve been working with it on various projects, but the event space is something we are definitely focused on, especially after a very positive feedback from Manchester Pride 2017.”

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