Buzzin App partners with Manchester Chinese New Year

to provide a unique experience to visitors

For this years Chinese New Year celebrations that took place in Manchester City centre between 26/1/17 – 29/1/17 Buzzin partnered with event organisers City Co to provide a truly unique experience using Augmented Reality and beacon technology.

Buzzin transformed its app from the usual ‘exclusive offers from local businesses’ to a special Chinese New Year edition that allowed you to play games, win prizes and interact with the festivities. The app removed all of it’s previous content and simplified it to two options, ‘Chinese New Year Zodiac Hunt’ and ‘Bring the Lanterns to life’.


For both the ‘Chinese New Year Zodiac Hunt’ and the ‘Bring the Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors to life’ over 500 of the posters seen above were distributed on the street as leaflets, shared on social media and displayed as large notices in key areas of the City. Believe it or not, using the the ‘scan’ option on Buzzin app, you can scan the posters above and unlock hidden AR content embedded into them, or begin your quest on the Zodiac Hunt, depending on which poster you decide to scan. You can even download it now for free and try it for yourself if you don’t believe me!

The first option was the Zodiac Hunt game. The Zodiac Hunt was a kind of Pokemon Go styled game with the 12 Chinese Zodiacs Hidden around the City Centre. Buzzin would provide you with a map with twelve highlighted locations, each where a Zodiac could be found. As you approached the location, your phone camera would open and in front of you would appear a glowing gold coin. Select the coin and it begins to spin, revealing the Zodiac, facts and personality traits. Once you’d found 3/12 you could collect your prize of a Chinese lantern and gift bag from the Swatch shop in the Arndale.

The Zodiac Hunt turned out to be a great success with 166 Zodiac coins being collected around the city centre.

The second option within the app was the ‘Interact with the Warrior Lanterns’. The main attraction for this years Chinese New Year celebrations in Manchester were the world famous Terracotta Warrior Lanterns on show in Exchange Square. The life size lanterns of the real Terracotta Warriors were originally created for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and have since travelled the world. Buzzin allowed people to interact with the lanterns using Augmented reality. Visitors travelled to the lanterns and pointed there phone camera at them, a moving animation of a warrior would then appear with battledrum audio displaying a variety of facts on the lanterns and the real Terracotta Warriors.

Beacons were also installed at key tram stops around the City centre. This is an image from Exchange Square metro stop, where people scanning the Lanterns would receive a notification with live tram times and a 20% off discount code from popular Northern Quarter Bar BLUU.

The app was available on both Android and iOS and was downloaded by 639 people during the event days. Over 120 users registered to play the Zodiac Hunt, collecting around 166 coins distributed across the different locations where various acts were happening. We are able to gain an understanding on how people moved around the city during the Chinese New Year event. About 27 people collected at-least 3 coins, after which they got the prize from the Swatch shop in Arndale.

Sparta’s Proximity Beacon sensors were placed at Exchange square and St Peter’s Square tram stops to interact with smartphones when they are within a 60m range. One of the beacons was sending out the live tram timings from TfGM ‘s new journey planning system and the others were sending offers from nearby restaurants & bars. Over 136 smartphones interacted with these sensors, receiving info on Trams and local offers. Looking at the dwell times, we also found that over 400 people spent at least 5 minutes at the Terracotta lanterns location. Crowd density peaked at 2 pm around Exchange square, whereas at St Peter’s Square it was at 5 pm.


Overall, Buzzin had massive success using Augmented reality at Manchester Chinese New Year 2017, with almost 700 downloads and 15k social media impressions.

The Buzzin Chinese New Year edition will remain live on the app store for one more week, it’s free to download and the Zodiac Hunt game is still available to play.