If Santa Replaced Magic with IoT Technologies

The holiday season brings songs and stories about Santa Clause with his sleigh full of toys which he delivers around the world to good boys and girls. Magic may not be able to make digital transformation happen, but Santa…Santa runs on magic (along with milk and cookies and lots of imagination).

Should Santa’s magic run a bit low, he and his team could turn to IoT technologies to support many of the use cases needed to deliver millions of packages in one around-the-planet journey.

Predictive Maintenance and Route Optimization

How Santa and his sleigh move through space and time so quickly is part of the magic IoT cannot replace. However, the flight mechanics on the sleigh likely need multiple servicing stops. Sensors and smart gateways with VMware Pulse IoT Center mounted near moving parts can aggregate data on actual conditions. This data should be analyzed on-sleigh as much as possible as the latency and networking costs to send data continuously to the North Pole would be staggering.  However, key alerts of emerging issues can be sent to the Central Elf datacenter environment, where more in-depth analytics can be run and software fixes sent OTA back to the sleigh.  Also, the datacenter/cloud environment could deliver insights from the ground that impacts Santa’s route. Weather-related insights can be used to identify risky storms and low visibility areas for re-routing. Not to mention, we know Santa can only deliver presents to houses where children are asleep. The sleep-monitoring system can stream in final, last-mile adaptions to Santa’s route.

Energy and Health Monitoring

Christmas Eve is a physically demanding shift for the reindeer, and Santa is a strong promoter of a healthy workplace. Health monitoring is a key use case he can implement to ensure the reindeers’ heart rate and lung capacity stay within a healthy range. Also, Santa’s blood sugar can spike too high if not carefully managed during an evening full of cookies. This too can be remotely monitored…with ongoing reports sent down to Santa’s physicians and Mrs. Claus.

Asset Management and Delivery Verification

Santa needs to manage millions of presents and ensure each one is delivered to the right house. Santa is being asked for increased regulatory and compliance reporting and has a need for more proof of delivery for any legal challenges that come up in January. One always controversial input into present allocation is the role of the Naughty vs Nice algorithm. Many children improve markedly in late December and earn their way to the Nice list, and Santa wants to be agile and have flex inventory on hand to deliver to everyone.

Santa would be a challenging customer, requiring a broad team of Dell Technologies experts as well as specialized technologies from our partner ecosystem. These challenges are a fun and accessible way to think through the art of the possible, which is an important part of how we work with our customers every day. Let’s all enjoy the magic of the holiday season and we look forward to working with customers on their own IoT magic next year. Happy New Year!

About the Author: Kirsten Billhardt