A Christmas Miracle: How the IoT saved Christmas

Last updated: 24 December 2020

While, for most of us, the festive season is often characterised by presents, family and inevitably large plates of food, the same cannot be said for Santa Claus. For Saint Nicholas, Christmas can only be described as a mad sprint featuring wrapping paper, reindeer, and eating cookies at breakneck speeds. In fact, before the break of Christmas Day, it has been calculated that Santa has to travel 122 million miles in 24 hours to deliver all the presents to the children of the world. I think we can all agree that this is a tight schedule to run by, even for the most productive of workers.

So, how can Santa make his job a little bit easier and everyone involved in this monumental operation? With a little help from the power of the Internet of Things! Whether it is automation in his workshops or upgrading the connectivity of his sleigh, the world of IoT is here to give Santa that little bit of extra support around the jolliest time of the year.

Here are our four suggestions of how the IoT could assist Santa during the Christmas period:

Riding a connected sleigh

The quintessential vehicle of Christmas, Santa’s sleigh, much like the man himself, undertakes a monumental workload during the most wonderful time of the year. As mentioned earlier, Santa and his sleigh have to travel 122 million miles in 24 hours, which requires an average speed of 5.08 million miles per hour. With such astronomic speeds and distance comes the potential for mechanical issues, as well as intense attention required from Saint Nick at the reins of his sleigh.

To prevent potential issues with mechanical failure and driver tiredness, Santa might be wise to upgrade his sleigh to a higher state of connectivity and automation. When it comes to potential mechanical issues, the sensors on a driverless sleigh will constantly monitor the status of the sleigh’s components, alerting Santa when his trusty vehicle needs to go in for a service. What’s more, in-sleigh sensors will monitor Saint Nick’s alertness and fatigue, adjusting the temperature and lighting to keep his attention optimally fixed on the skies ahead.

Moreover, for those potential dangers pervading the skies, whether it be a pigeon to a rogue reindeer, a connected sleigh’s lasers and sensors will be able to detect those obstacles that Santa might not see, taking action to avoid a collision.

Making his Elves’ workshop smarter

Often unheralded in Santa’s yearly efforts, his elves are the engine which drives the operation forward. And while Santa’s elves have done a fantastic job in wrapping Santa’s presents over the years, to say the building and wrapping of billions of presents is a heavy burden would be an understatement. With over two billion children scattered around the world, Santa’s little helpers toil away in the workshop day and night in the lead up to the big day.

So, what can be done to lessen the load on Santa’s right-hand men and women? With the help of smart manufacturing technology, Santa’s elves can efficiently manage their workloads while cutting down on waste and improving the quality of their presents. The manufacturing world is currently undergoing a fourth, ‘smart’ revolution. Factory managers around the globe are using sensors in their machinery to collect data which is then used to make better-informed decisions and optimise production.

If managers in factories across the world are cashing in on this smart revolution, shouldn’t Santa’s elves too?

Looking after his reindeers with wearable technology

Wherever Santa goes on Christmas, it is a given that his eight furry friends will be there with him. Synonymous with the man in red, Santa’s reindeer are true workhorses (or deer?), flying Saint Nick around the world on his annual trip. However, similar to his sleigh, Santa’s reindeer carry an unmatched physical load when it comes to Christmas time. We all know that Santa enjoys his mince pies and cookies whenever he delivers presents to the children of the world. So, it is not hard to imagine that his reindeer break a sweat pulling him and his presents around the world at a pace over 6000 times faster than the speed of sound.

With such a monumental workload, Santa needs to keep an eye on the health of Rudolph and his compatriots. So, why not invest in some wearable health tech for his reindeer? With this, Santa would receive real-time data on the key health measurables of his reindeer. Data in hand, Santa would be able to see when a well-earned rest and carrot is needed, in turn preventing any chance of reindeer burnout before the big show.

Keeping the North Pole secure while Santa is gone

While Santa embarks on his global trip, his HQ, the North Pole, is left unattended for 24 hours. To some of those who have found themselves on his naughty list, this vacant period provides ample opportunity to pay Santa’s home a visit, seeing if they can swap their coal for something shiny and new.

To protect his home and presents, Santa may deem it worthwhile to invest in an IoT powered home security system to keep unwanted visitors away. Whether it’s a doorbell camera linked to his mobile device, home sensors to detect movement within his workshop or a smart lock which can only be accessed by a special fob, there are multiple technologies that Santa can use to protect his home while he is out spreading joy to the world.

Children all over the world are grateful for the work that Santa does around Christmas time. So, it only seems fitting that we offer support to make his yearly job a little easier with the help of the IoT.

From all of us here at Thales DIS, we would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Keen to learn about IoT? Read more here and follow us on Twitter at @ThalesDigiSec!

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