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5 technologies Santa needs for Christmas 2021

3 min read

Did you know that every Christmas eve, Santa Claus’ flight is tracked by NORAD, the US/Canada air defense network? Imagine if you had the world’s largest airforce tracking your every move at work. 

Which got us thinking – perhaps Santa needs a little help in the form of cutting edge technologies. 

A coat of Radar Absorbing Material on his sleigh might give him a little privacy on his midnight flight around the world. But what other technologies are out there that could help?

We’ve come up with a playful list of five key technologies that Santa Claus (maybe husband of Mrs. Claus, maybe not) could use this Christmas?

1. Emotional recognition software

Santa has to figure out exactly who has been naughty or nice. And this means knowing the difference between a kid who’s a genuine angel, and one who is just faking it. 

We’re pretty sure that Santa Claus can tell a real smile from one that’s just for show, but surely he doesn’t evaluate every kid. We’re guessing it’s those elves who do most of the naught or nice detection. 

And one technology that could really help them is emotional recognition software (as developed by companies like Realeyes). This software uses advanced AI to recognise in real time how people are feeling based on their facial expressions.

And it’s perfect for Santa. All he needs to do is arm an Elf on the Shelf with some emotional recognition software and the sedentary seasonal snitch can report back to Santa exactly who the truly nice kids are: Were those genuine smiles when aunty kissed them on the cheek? Did their faces radiate horror when eating broccoli (or a festive Brussel sprout)? Were they genuinely happy to play with their younger siblings? 

And when the presents are finally opened, this tech can even give an accurate reading of just how much each kid actually liked the gift they received. Santa, welcome to fully optimized gifting!!

2. AI

How will Santa process the emotional recognition data of billions of kids? Come to think of it, how does he process the billions of letters from kids with their gift requests?

We think a little AI could be in order.

Today, AI can already handle straightforward customer support questions. Surely it can accurately read letters to work out what presents are being requested by which kids (maybe it can even integrate a bit of naughty-or-nice data to boot). 

And if GPT-3 gets even more developed, Santa can send out AI-written replies to every kid who gets in touch. 

3. Cybersecurity

Surely Santa is using cloud hosting by the likes of Hostinger for storing all this data. Although Lapland is a pretty good location for a data centre, with all those present requests and delivery logistics to manage, he definitely has more important things to worry about than servers.

If he’s on the cloud, he’s going to need some serious cybersecurity. Password protection is a must, and we assume the elves are the weak link in Santa’s infrastructure. So a business package from NordPass password management tool makes perfect sense. 

We know the government is already tracking Santa’s sleigh, so there’s a good chance they’re watching his online activity as well. A robust and easy to use VPN is surely a must (plus, we’ve heard Netflix in Lapland sucks). 

And with ransomware constantly growing as a threat, he should consider getting some automatic data storage and recovery systems. Granted, all of that will need to be implemented somehow … 

4. No-code (or should that be “Snow-Code”?)

We’ve all seen the comic about the Santa elf confused by C++

With the increasing complexity of the toys they have to manufacture (not to mention Santa’s cybersecurity), we think the elves need a leg up: no-code software development

No-code brings a drag-and-drop approach to code – just think of those music apps where you add blocks to compose your next mega hit. Granted, implementations may vary, but the important thing for our dear elves is that it reduces the skill and knowledge needed to do coding, and the time. They just drag it, drop it, and ship it then spend more time patching it than the production lasted

5. Internet of Things

IoT may feel a little 2018, but with 5G adoption rolling out fast (has it reached the North Pole yet?), we think there are plenty of opportunities in Santa’s operation where it could help: Is the gifts-into-stockings dispenser running low? Is Rudolph’s red nose running low on power? 

Which gift bags have already been tagged with RFID chips for easier identification?

You could even hook the elves up with some AR visors displaying all the data relevant to them. From chips on each toy detailing what it has to go through to guides of the workshop for Elf new-hires, there’s plenty of potential here. 

Tech the halls …

So there’s our sum up of 5 technologies Santa could benefit from in 2021. It’s been an astonishing year for tech innovation, and we hope Father Christmas has some smart solutions up his big red sleeve to help him (and those poor elves) out this year.