Buzzin app successful trials in Manchester and Leeds, prepares for future growth

MANCHESTER BASED technology firm Sparta Digital, has successfully completed trials of its new mixed reality travel app called Buzzin. With Buzzin app people can interact with the physical world thereby unravel exciting experiences. Users can earn rewards as they walk around the city and when they travel on buses.

Buzzin has more than 100 locations supported by its Alpha sensors including Buses, art galleries, tourist attractions and various local businesses within Manchester. The app is available for free download on both Google Play and iOS app store. Alpha sensors have micro-location-based proximity sensing capability that connects digital experiences to the physical world.

It's really exciting how all this new technology can help enhance the visitor's experience on a much more personal level. It's also great for us because we can collect data that can then help us improve for next years event.

As part of Manchester’s drive to become a ‘Smart city’, Sparta’s Buzzin app was used at Manchester Gay Pride Big weekend, to help revellers obtain the best deals and navigate their ways through the crowds to their chosen locations. With Buzzin app, visitors could receive information on their mobile about the happenings at various locations including wristband exchange area, near the 3 main stages, Bars and restaurants in the Gay Village. Trialling this technology at Pride has received a good response from both users and businesses. More than 100 user interactions with the sensors were recorded, engaging over 500 people on Facebook and more than 2,600 impressions on Twitter. Following the festivities, Kieran Bussoopun, events manager at Pride’s Big Weekend event , said: “It’s really exciting how all this new technology can help enhance the visitor’s experience on a much more personal level. It’s also great for us because we can collect data that can then help us improve for next years event”.

Buzzin was also trialed from August,2016 with 2 bus operators, in Manchester (Witchway X43) and Leeds (Yorkshire Tiger 757), reaching 500 downloads and over 650 transactions recorded. Sensors have been installed on 30  buses on Burnley-Manchester and Leeds city- Leeds Airport routes.Users are able to easily validate their journeys as they get on and off the bus, while also receiving on-board content with local offers and rewards. Commercial Manager , Mark Muirhead-Reeves from Yorkshire Tiger, said: “working with Buzzin helped us trial point-to-point journey validation using mobile phones and ability to work with local events and businesses”.

The pilot gained support from local football clubs, airports and event venues in promoting the use of public transport to travel. Digital manager at Manchester Craft and Design Centre, Christine Hitchins said: “With these sensors installed within our premises, we are able to provide a more interactive experience to our visitors”.

With AR becoming more mainstream and growth in connected things, we see huge potential for AR based mixed reality services using a remotely managed sensors network.

Sparta is planning to bring their Augmented Reality (AR) capabilities along with their virtual currency within Buzzin app as part of future growth plans. Users will be able to look at recommended events and activities, choose where they want to go and get route suggestions with the indication of virtual currency they can earn along the way. Users can exchange their currency for various rewards, ranging from football match tickets, event tickets and  other goodies from local businesses. Marketing director Vijay Natarajan said: “With AR becoming more mainstream and growth in connected things, we see huge potential for AR based mixed reality services using a remotely managed sensors network”.

As part of Cityverve, UK’s £10 million Internet of Things (IoT) based smart city demonstrator in Manchester, Sparta is working with Manchester City Council, Cisco and other partners to address challenges within Transport, Health and Environment working closely with citizens. Sparta are planning to deploy air quality sensors, traffic monitoring systems and its Alpha sensors onto vehicles, bus stops, wayfinding signage and street furniture within the city. This will help the city to plan new transport initiatives and measure their environmental impacts, while engaging with citizens in their daily life to promote eco-friendly behaviours. Also through Travelspirit, a global initiative, lead by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Sparta plans to create an open sensor network across the transport infrastructure to enable open innovation.