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Tech the halls: parents use smart gadgets to bring Santa to life

Image credit: Rfischia - Dreamstime

New research from smart home gadget company Hive reveals that tech-savvy parents are turning to smart technology to keep the magic of Christmas alive for their young children.

The study, called ‘Christmas Detectives’, found that 67 per cent of parents in the UK have used smart technology – such as view cameras and motion sensors – to convince their children that Father Christmas is real, with 56 per cent of parents saying they would do so again. 

According to the research, when it comes to the festive season, parents will go to great lengths to add "some sparkle" to Christmas day, with 96 per cent doing something to prove the existence of Father Christmas, from visiting Santa in his grotto to surprising children with handwritten letters from Lapland.

Parents have been deemed successful at this, with two-thirds of five to 11-year-olds claiming to have seen Santa themselves, offering parents proof of snowy footprints (27 per cent) and receiving a visit from the man himself at their school (29 per cent).

While traditional methods of keeping children believing remain popular - such as eating the biscuits and milk left out for him (84 per cent) on Christmas Eve - British parents are increasingly relying on tech to capture Santa in action.

The study found that seven out of ten parents with children aged five to 11 (70 per cent) have tracked Santa’s progress of his journey by using an online Santa tracker, while 60 per cent of parents have arranged special phone calls with Father Christmas.

With 54 per cent of children surveyed in the study eager to get a view of Father Christmas and requiring physical proof of his existence, 24 per cent of parents have used smart technology such as indoor security cameras, motion cameras and voice assistants to convince their children that Father Christmas has stopped by.

“Our Christmas Detectives study shows that when it comes to Father Christmas, it’s clear that seeing is believing,” said Peter Simon, the managing director of Hive. “It is fitting that British parents are looking for innovative ways to prove he has paid a visit.

“We love that parents are using their home cameras and sensors to add a bit more magic to their children’s day”.

The company has also suggested a couple of their top ‘Santa spotting’ gadgets for this festive season, including its Hive view indoor camera, to capture a visit from Santa on Christmas Eve, and its motion sensors, which can send users notifications straight to their smartphones whenever anyone enters the room.

The Hive ‘Christmas Detectives’ study was conducted by Markettiers in December 2019, surveying 1,002 parents with children between the ages of five and 11 and 1,002 children between the same age brackets.

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