Santa has a pretty tough task at Christmas. Delivering presents to the entire world in just one night must be exhausting. But could it ever be possible? With the right technology and a sprinkling of Christmas magic, it just might be!
With the world’s population in excess of 8 billion people, Santa’s job will be tougher than ever this year. And since the Earth has a surface area of around 196, 900,000 square miles, he sure has some distance to cover. He’ll need all the help he can get to make the process more efficient.
Luckily, PlotProjects has some location-based solutions that could make Santa’s life a little easier this Christmas.
Geofence triggers for automated deliveries
Santa could save time during his gift deliveries by setting up geofence triggers to work with his smart devices. Assuming that he has a smartphone and his sleigh is a smart device, he could set up certain functions to trigger automatically based on his location.
Many app-based smart devices have user-friendly geofencing settings, so Santa can easily create location-based triggers, routines and automations right from his smartphone. And since he has magical powers and lots of elves to help him, he could set up all the geofences he needs. Once the geo triggers are set up, his gift deliveries on Christmas Eve will be much easier.
Here’s how it could work. When he’s out and about on his deliveries and his sleigh gets to its destination, the geofence could trigger his sleigh door to unlock and drop the gift down the chimney. Maybe all the chimneys have smart features too. So he could set geofence triggers to automatically open and close the chimney flues when he arrives and departs.
So many homes use geofencing to control their smart devices, so why shouldn’t Santa make the most of it?
Smartphone notifications at the right house
Geofencing makes it possible to send hyper-local notifications to mobile app users based on their real-time location. Santa could use the technology to get notifications when he’s at the right house so he doesn’t make any mistakes when delivering gifts.
He could geofence a house, a neighborhood or a whole city, then get an alert when he arrives. This would be pretty handy, especially in the dark.
His sleigh will be stacked high with toys and goodies, so he might want to use geofencing to trigger other notifications that could lower the risk of any gifts falling off the sleigh. These could be warnings or custom speed limits for any areas with sharp turns or steep descents.
Sleigh fleet management
Delivering gifts to every household in the world is a tall task. Santa might need to recruit his elves to drive a whole fleet of sleighs to get the job done. He can use geofencing to manage the fleet – that’s a lot of sleighs!
Geofencing can be used for time tracking, so Santa will know when the elves leave and return to the North Pole. He might want to use these insights to plan a better route or to check that they haven’t gone astray.
If they do go off course, they would get an alert, making it easier for the elves to stay within their assigned region and deliver the gifts for that area. Santa could even set no-go zones for areas where there are no houses, such as over the ocean or other non-residential areas.
Clock in and out at Santa’s Workshop
With so much to do at Christmas, Santa could really use an easy way to track attendance at his toy factory. He could make the process more efficient by using an app with geofencing to automate his elves checking in and out for work.
Santa could create geofences around the factory, and each elf would install the app on their smartphone. Using those geofences, the app can automatically start the timer when elves arrive for work. Or, it can send a reminder for them to clock in.
Santa will know when the elves clock in for their specific job, and he’ll get notified if they’re not there. He can also use it to schedule shifts for each elf and get detailed timesheets so he has less paperwork to manage.
When it comes to paying the elves, he can complete ‘payroll’ quickly. Don’t forget, Santa doesn’t pay his elves in money. Instead, he provides them with room and board at the North Pole, plus plenty of goodies.
Using location to predict gift lists
By creating an app with a location SDK, Santa could take a lot of the guesswork out of predicting what gifts to get for each household. Assuming that everyone has his magic app on their smartphone, he can easily figure out their interests and give them more personalized gifts.
By setting geofences at toy shops, department stores or shopping malls, he can get valuable insights about which users have visited, how long they stayed and how often they came. By understanding their behaviour, he can create user profiles based on their real-life movements and what they really like.
He could even use the technology to send them a message reminding them to be well behaved while they are in a certain part of the store, such as the toy aisle.
Help Santa find the best deals
Things don’t always go to plan at Santa’s Workshop. Sometimes the elves are naughty or things don’t run smoothly. So Santa might need to find gifts on the high street instead. This is where geofencing and Bluetooth beacons could save him some time and money.
When he goes out shopping (in disguise, of course) Santa can find out about all of the best deals and discounts nearby. For instance, if he has a discount app like Vouchercloud (which is very likely) the app will send him notifications about the best deals and special offers nearby.
If a store has Bluetooth beacons, this could help Santa even more. He could be walking through a department store looking for a great deal, then suddenly his smartphone pings and he sees a notification from the brand he was looking for with a discount off his next purchase.
What if Santa can’t find what he needs? Bluetooth beacons can combat this problem by helping him navigate his way around.
Curbside pickup in case he gets recognised
Perhaps Santa wants to shop online and make the most of curbside pickup so that he can collect his order without having to go in-store. He and Mrs Claus could order gifts from the comfort of home in the North Pole, then collect the order quickly and easily without needing to leave his car (yes, he has a car as well as a sleigh).
The difference between curbside and regular pickup is that curbside is delivered right from the curb, whereas regular pickup involves the customer having to go into the store and collect their order. It might be a bit risky for Santa to go in store in case he gets recognised!
Curbside pickup works via an app with geofencing for location detection. When a user crosses a geofenced boundary, the store will get alerted. So, when they arrive, they are able to facilitate a quick and seamless curbside delivery. This is especially helpful for Santa because he places large orders!
Mobile order drive-thru when he’s hungry
Delivering billions of gifts is hard work. Santa gets hungry just like everyone else. Thanks to geofencing, he can use the mobile order drive-thru at his favorite restaurants like McDonalds and Burger King.
This clever technology lets restaurants have fresh food ready for collection at an assigned time. Similar to curbside pickup, it also allows them to track how far away a customer is and start preparing food in time for their arrival.
No check ins are needed. All Santa needs to do is order, collect and go. Although he might need to use a bit of magic to make space for his sleigh!
Geotargeting in the North Pole
Santa’s Village comes alive during the holidays. It’s a hive of activity with shops, restaurants and businesses catering to the swathes of elves and other Christmas characters. Geotargeting ads use geofencing to target specific areas with the right content at the right time, making it ideal for Santa’s hometown in the North Pole.
When Santa or Mrs Claus are searching for what they need on Google (yes, there’s Wi-Fi in the North Pole) they’ll be served with the most relevant results nearby. For instance, if Mrs Claus needed a winter coat and she searched for ‘winter coats near me’ she would see ads for the nearest coat store to her location.
This type of advertising is ideal for businesses that want to target potential customers in a specific country, city or neighbourhood, even the North Pole!
Autocomplete to verify addresses
Imagine if Santa got his address data wrong. Kids all over the world would wake up on Christmas Day without any gifts. To avoid this disaster, he can use address autocomplete to verify that his delivery addresses are all real and deliverable.
This handy feature automatically suggests addresses to users as they type into an online form. It helps to ensure that businesses (or even Santa) get accurate and reliable address data by reducing the number of keystrokes and typing errors that users make.
The best autocomplete POIs use global datasets to match address information with validated and verified data. Autocomplete draws on this data to verify any address typed into it. The database is updated constantly, so Santa can check that he has accurate and up-to-date addresses before he heads out on his deliveries.
Are you interested in location-based technology?
This article is just a bit of fun, but these location-based solutions can be applied by businesses in the real world too.
PlotProjects is the leading geofencing platform, allowing apps to offer their users personalized and relevant location-based notifications and experiences. To find out more about how our platform can drive results for your business, contact PlotProjects today.