CREATIVE EXPERTS in partnership with FutureEverything delivered a festive tech tour of the Manchester Christmas markets with a tremendous tech twist.
Users discovered a new face of the city using Buzzin, an augmented reality app that’s changing the way people discover Manchester. The tour gave people with an interest in emerging technology a chance to experience the Manchester Christmas markets with emerging tech designed for its citizens.
Megan Griffith, Creative Experts workshop leader said: “The main aim was to get people to engage with the idea of smart cities and these apps and technologies that will be available to use.
“We want to spread awareness about the project, obviously people don’t know about these things that are happening and they won’t get used, so if you bring people into a fun environment then they are going to have fond memories of it and then pass it on to other people and talk about it which spreads the message further.”
The augmented reality app Buzzin is part of Manchester’s smart city demonstrator CityVerve who bring together the brightest minds and pioneering technologies to help create a smart, innovative and inspiring Manchester.
The festive tour started at Manchester’s Central Library and covered its way through areas of the Manchester Christmas Markets from Albert Square to Lincoln Square, St Annes Square and over to Cathedral Gardens.
On the tour, participants were split into groups and assigned with team leaders who were on hand to provide information and help instruct users on the augmented app. The festive tech tour was superbly engaging as participants found themselves tasked with a range of activities via Buzzin plus exercises from the Creative Experts and FutureEverything members.
The Buzzin app allowed users to see different areas of the Christmas markets upon their mobile phone screens with a fully functional 360 view. Buzzin also allowed users to find the nearest cash machines, transport, and toilets.
Watch the Buzzin app and festived tech tour in action.
Megan Griffith said: “I feel like people really engaged with the technology but also I think the workshop was a good mix of goal orientated things, challenges and incentives, local history and kind of like facts about the markets so it was not to tech-heavy.
“It meant that people had lots of different points of engagement so if one thing wasn’t necessarily your thing there was something else you could focus on and people just seemed to have fun.”
Throughout the festive tech tour Transport for Greater Manchester’s Carragh Teague was on hand to share some highly interesting facts about each of the locations visited. Those who did participate were treated to some festive treats including Christmas markets food and drink.
Had such a brilliant time planning & running the Tech Tour of Xmas Markers for @CreativeExperts @FuturEverything @cityverve trialling @buzzin_app Thanks so much to everyone who joined us for snacks, facts, challenges & tech trials! pic.twitter.com/glYSYN5iu0
— Megan Marie Griffith (@MeganMegaMegMe) December 14, 2017
A highlight of the app was the ability to view a virtual Christmas Elf within the app, perched on the edge of your mug when you used the app’s mug scan 3D animation. Buzzin also has an upcoming feature called Elf Chase.
The AR game will be similar to worldwide phenom Pokemon Go were users can chase and throw snowballs at Elves around the Christmas markets. The game will allow users to collect a token to get £1 off a drink at the markets.
Expert technical expertise was not essential to participate in the event as a wide range of tech users enjoyed the tour. Download the Buzzin app on your handsets and check out the cool augmented reality on offer.
Listen below to Megan talk about the feedback received on the festive tour.