NORAD has been tracking Santa Claus on his annual world-wide tour every year since 1955, but the technology by which it accomplishes this task continues to change with the times.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) received a slew of mistaken phone calls in 1955 when a Colorado Springs newspaper had a typo in an ad aimed at kids anxious to know if Santa was close to their house, and thus, the Santa tracker was born. Known as the Continental Aerospace Defense Command at the time, the agency played along with the tykes, and ever since it has helped make sure that everyone knew where old Kris Kringle was at all times on Dec. 25th.
With the advent of the Internet, the tracking went online, although a phone number is still provided for those who prefer to call (1-877-HI-NORAD). And with smartphones taking over the world, now there are even apps to help the hunt for the jolly one. You can download apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone and wanting to waste no time at all, on your desktop there is an app for Windows 8 and you can also track Santa in 3D with Cesium.
Microsoft teamed up with NORAD this year to give the Santa tracker a complete overhaul to keep track of him when he leaves Santa’s workshop, and if you had seen the website over the past few years, it is a definite improvement. As you wait for Santa to visit your house you can play games, listen to Christmas music and check out some videos about the history of the project.
We are rather disappointed there is no word on receiving updates via Western Union telegram or Pony Express, but we think NORAD has done an amazing job of covering just about every other conceivable form of modern day communication.
Check out the trailer for this year’s Santa tracker below, as well as a short history of how NORAD got involved with letting children known when to expect a visit from the big man.
Were you a good little boy or girl this year and expecting a visit?