In colder parts of the world, it’s once again snowy and bright outside, and in other places, people might be drinking eggnog in their shorts. No matter what, it’s Christmas time! Many of us are eagerly expecting a lot of things during the winter holidays. Things that we take for granted, but which actually require a lot of love and hard work.
One thing that some of us might take for granted is the dutiful work of Mr. Claus himself, the embodiment of the Christmas spirit. Sure, he seems to have managed his job all through his existence. But, do you ever stop and think about how much he works and what his challenges might be? To show gratitude to this fine gentleman of the holiday, it could be a really nice gesture to do something to make his job more manageable.
With the introduction of modern technology like the Internet of Things, the possibilities to support Santa become limitless.
Let’s start by looking at the first step of Santa’s visit – The landing. Not only does Santa need to have a good view of where he is to land, but he also needs to know that the young ones are at sleep (or at least in their beds, struggling to stay awake not to miss Santa).
The solution is to place Sensative’s Strips Presence sensors on the walls or bed frames to monitor in real-time whether the children are in bed (present) or not. Another possibility is to place Strips Comfort light (LUX) sensors to monitor in real time if any lights are on. In this case, we will keep it simple and use Strips Presence sensors to register that the children are in bed.
The logic is quite simple – When the bed is made and empty, it will reach a certain height, and with the child in bed, that height should increase. But don’t tell the kids; they will just try to fool the sensor with a mountain of pillows. In that case, you will have to add more tech, like a motion-sensing camera or a vibration sensor on the bed.
Now, let’s make good use of those beautiful Christmas lights on your roof, turn them into a runway, and give Santa a “go” when sensors register that lights are out and children are in bed. Set up a scenario in your smart home system or your more advanced IoT platform, like Sensative’s Yggio, where the roof lights will be activated when the presence sensors report the children as present in bed. This way, Santa will be able to plan his route more effectively. We all know he moves pretty fast, so he’ll probably be fine anyway. But, it’s the gesture that counts in the Spirit of the Season.
Now we know that Santa will arrive safely (if those little monsters have been good this year). So what more can we do?
Let’s place a presence sensor on the mantlepiece! This way, we can be notified when Santa has entered through the chimney and leaves again with his mission completed. When two counts of “person present” or movements have been registered, you can assume you will find presents under your Christmas tree.
However, this might not be enough; what if it is not Santa but the Grinch out to steal your chocolate and wine? We need more data to make a better assessment of the situation. For instance, place a parking sensor on the roof that registers that the sleigh is present, and if not, and the mantlepiece sensor signals intruder then sound off the alarm.
Simple scenario logics:
IF "sleigh on the roof" AND "chimney entered"
THEN "notify Santa is here" ELSE "sound alarm"
You could also try to catch the red light of Rudolph’s red nose, but the risk is that it will be lost in all those other Christmas lights you have installed. Using a camera with face recognition could have worked if anyone had actually seen Santa and taken his picture.
If you don’t have a chimney and Santa needs to break in through the window, you could instead place a Strips Guard sensor on the window, alerting you that it has been opened. But, since Santa has a habit of breaking in through locked doors and windows without setting off alarms or making a mark, this would most probably not work. We need to go a step further.
Place a Strips Guard in every Christmas stocking to register when the sock has been opened and closed (the sensors will register something as “open” when the distance between the magnet and Guard is larger than 10-20 mm). When this happens, assuming that the children are reported as present in bed, you could be pretty sure that Father Christmas interacted with the stocking.