Cities across the United Kingdom are renowned for going all out at Christmas with lights and decorations, and it has become a competition to see which location can put on the best show. As ideas for how to make the streets as festive as possible have evolved, designers have incorporated an increasing amount of technology.
Last year, some cities like Manchester and Oxford took this to the next level, integrating mobile apps and augmented reality. It could be argued that the UK is now setting the standard when it comes to festive city experiences.
More Digital Integration in the Real World
Christmas markets are a huge attraction for cities in the UK, and many of them draw in travellers from other countries. For people who aren’t familiar with these locations, it may be harder to navigate them. This is why Manchester and some other cities have brought in mobile apps for visitors so they can find their way around. The north-west city also uses an AR offering now, which takes users on a festive tour around the city starting at the Central Library. Oxford offers something similar as well, with an adventure trail around the city that involves scanning QR codes at various spots.
The use of modern technology has increased the levels of interaction at Christmas events and added to the user experience. On top of app integration for people who are exploring these Christmas settings, there has also been an upsurge in the use of live streaming to bring the same experiences to people in their homes. For instance, the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is one of the biggest events in Europe, and now live streaming allows people from all over the world to see it.
Digital Festive Experiences are Hugely Popular Online Too
Thanks to the spread of digitalisation, people who don’t like the cold can enjoy all the same festivities from the comfort of their warm abodes. For instance, there are now virtual Christmas markets on social media apps like Facebook, which allow people to explore these settings around the country and compare all the amazing light arrangements.
It’s not only markets where Christmas themes are abundant. Some of the top Christmas games can be found in the slots market and feature all the typical festive tropes, such as snowy settings and jingling soundtracks.
Emerging technology is likely to enhance the at-home Christmas experience even more. Virtual reality is expected to take off before the end of the decade, with the metaverse likely to be the next major online social setting. There’s no doubt that there will be special Christmas time themes in this digital world as well, which help to bring the festive feel to people at home.
Christmas in British cities has always been special, but it’s getting even better every year. Technology has brought about so many new possibilities, both for people who visit Christmas markets and those who would rather enjoy the themes from home.