Entertainment, Hardware

Elves search for a GPS for Santa. Will he go hi-tech?


Santa Claus [Finnish: Joulupukki] in front of Cathedral in Helsinki, capitol of FinlandIt was the day before Christmas Eve and the elves wanted to get Santa a gift he definitely could use. A GPS system! With little technical knowledge themselves, since they only build rocking horses, sleds, and doll houses, they set out to explore the ‘brave new world of technology.’ Here is what Dasher and Blitzen overheard the elves discussing. 

The Garmin nüvi 755T won PC Magazine?s Editor?s Choice award, and there are so many different nüvi models. Some with 3D landmarks. Geez, which one would be best for Santa. They have multi-destination routing, wide screen, preloaded North American and European maps, and Bluetooth. Bluetooth? We know about red noses that glow, but blue teeth? Must be a revival of the Gumby craze.

We can get MSN Direct for gas prices and weather, and traffic alerts to avoid traffic jams. Hmmmm. The sleigh doesn?t run on gas [Santa is environmentally friendly], but weather is always a concern. Fog and blizzards slow him down a bit, which impacts his tight schedule. Garmin sets your time zone so Santa can check if he?s running late.

The iPhone 3G runs TomTom which has IQ Routes that mark the most efficient route. That would be a time saver, since Santa leaves on a trip around the world of 24,901.55 miles (40,075.16 kilometers) as the crow flies, and only one night to cover all that territory. Shortcuts would be helpful. If he runs into trouble he can always use the phone to call for help.

Let?s look at Navman?s 4.7" LCD touch screen with Tap or Slide operation. A bigger screen is great because Santa only has time for a quick glance as he speeds past the stars. Magellan?s Maestro advertises a OneTouch interface to reduce driver distraction by helping users find a location with the single press of a virtual button. Trying to sort out which presents to deliver to which house while en route requires a lot of focus. An easy user-interface would be perfect.

The entry-level MOTONAV TN20 gives turn-by-turn directions on a 3.5-inch touch screen and speaks street names out loud. A built-in sensor will adjust the display’s colors to day or night mode to make it suitable for nighttime operation. That?d be good for driving through the dark night sky. Apparently, it only has maps for the continental US though from NAVTEQ ? oh dear, how will Santa find all the other countries he has to visit?

Santa has a lot of ground to cover... over 28,000 miles / 40,000 kilometers as crow flies. Good thing he's not dependant on FAA all the time.
Santa has a lot of ground to cover… over 28,000 miles / 40,000 kilometers as crow flies. Good thing he’s not dependant on FAA all the time.

Hey man, go back to Navman. They are in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. And lookie here, MapmyIndia Navigator claims their "GPS gadget uses satellites to determine your current location and lets you search for your destination across India, by address city, town, village, ? so you always know where you are and where you are headed. No need to roll down your window, and ask strangers for directions." No windows on the sleigh, and Santa always discourages kids from talking to strangers. Boy, he could get lost looking for all those little villages. He definitely needs this one.

LoJack is a GPS-based vehicle tracking device designed to help recover a vehicle if it is stolen. They say 90 percent of stolen vehicles have been recovered usually within a few hours. The sleigh loaded with presents and left unattended on a roof while Santa is stuffing himself with cookies and milk could be an attractive temptation for bad little boys. We?d better put that on our list. Santa will need quick response to find his sleigh and get back on his delivery schedule.

TeleNav, Inc. has a cell phone GPS system that works in 21 countries, including South America and Asia, as well as North America and Europe.  That?s pretty good coverage. Over Brazil, he?ll get information in Portuguese. [Good thing Santa is multi-lingual.] What?s this? TeleNav Shotgun"a next-generation, Internet-connected GPS navigation device built for the active business traveler." Well, Santa is in the business of bringing happiness to all good girls and boys. I?d say he qualifies as a potential customer. Wonder if they?d comp him a unit?

"Oh dear, Oh dear" muttered the eavesdropping reindeer, and they trotted quickly over to tell Santa. And Santa agreed that he must put a stop to the elves plans as it would be an insult to his reindeer team. He already had the best, and oldest navigation system in the world ? RUDOLPH.

The elves understood completely. They just were caught up in all the newfangled gadgets people had been asking for for Christmas.  But they forgot that Santa had what ordinary folk didn?t – he had magic!

P.S. We’ll let you in on a secret… if you really want to go and visit Santa Claus in his yearly office, you can use GPS to find a small village in Northern Circle.