Grapefruit and the digital future of Santa Claus

This Christmas we give you an exclusive interview with the UX agency that could revolutionize Santa's business! An article by journalist Carol FrostByte


Last year, the never resting minds at Grapefruit published a report about the digital tools Santa uses to drive his multi-billion-dollar Empire. How can Santa tell the good kids from the bad? How does he store data about all the children in the world and how does he manage to deliver all the presents on time? Grapefruit have identified the digital solutions for all these questions.

This year, we spoke to the people at Grapefruit themselves, to find more details about their report, but instead we found they have much more interesting ideas: they want a collaboration with Santa Claus!

How could Grapefruit improve the productivity in Santa’s business and how would they bring the cheerful figure closer to the children of the world?

I am Carol FrostByte, reporting for The Daily Snow and here is an exclusive interview with Grapefruit on the business of Santa Claus.

Carol FrostByte
Grapefruit, how did you get the idea to study Santa’s business model?


Hi, Carol! We are always looking for ways to make things easier and more enjoyable for our clients and their customers, through creating memorable user experiences in our projects. We figured Santa Claus has the same goal in his business, but with different timelines and business object, of course. We are huge fans of Santa and his decade-long activity, especially considering how he has integrated modern technologies into the elves’ work processes.

Carol FrostByte
Tell us more about your collaboration with Santa Claus. Who came up with this idea?


We would certainly like to work with Santa Claus! As we mentioned before, we are big fans of his and we love a challenge. Our study of Santa’s technologies has revealed certain problems and we believe we have just the answers for them.

Carol FrostByte
What would a collaboration with Santa Claus be like?


Well, based on the situation analysis, we formulated a couple of questions and came up with cool solutions for them. They include both internal changes and improving the communication with the customers.

For example, every year in December, the shopping malls are packed with people who take their kids to see Santa Claus, or his doppleganger, more likely. Kids’ innocence was ruined in more cases than we like to imagine, when the actors were caught taking the beards off, cursing or even smoking.

To bring the real Santa closer to the children we wish to develop a fully immersive VR app, which would be available in several cities around the world.

Carol FrostByte
That sounds fun, but how does it work?


The children put on the VR goggles and are instantly teleported to meet the real Santa Claus at the North Pole.

This way, hey can relay their Christmas wishes directly to him and enjoy numerous fun activities, such as build snowmen, meet the elves or take a tour of Santa’s bright Empire.

The wishes are saved into Santa’s cloud database, converted to text and sent to the processing office.

The VR physical setup supports several users at the same time, which means that the kids can meet in the VR world and explore Santa’s home together. The parents can view the children’s experiences on the screen. The app is also accessible for kids with disabilities. It is a great way to bring cheer to every child and allow them to meet Santa.

Carol FrostByte
How is that different than meeting an actor pretending to be Santa Claus?


The virtual Santa model is built based on the real Santa, using motion sensor capturing systems and recorded audio messages. Of course, based on Santa’s availability, we can also ensure live 3D video transmissions within the app.

Carol FrostByte
What else do you have in store for the future?


We identified a problem within Santa’s business: the uneven work load which the elves must do. Basically, they have to work around the clock at the end of December and have a lot of spare time in the rest of the year.

We propose a system for streamlining the GNA (the good-naughty algorithm) labelling and gift allocation, as well as automating the wish reading process.

The AI technology has gained much ground since the early versions of IBM Watson and there are powerful APIs that provide reliable and fast Deep Learning algorithms. We are thinking about developing an intelligent system with self-learning capabilities, that could, in time streamline the process of sorting children into good and bad.

It would also decide, based on the GNA which gift to assign to each child – or person – parents are also susceptible of receiving gifts from Santa, no?

Carol FrostByte
You think AI can successfully replicate human (or in this case elf) way of thinking and speed up the decision making process?


The AI Elf (not the official name!) could develop behavior prediction capabilities, which could ease the sorting process: simple validation or invalidation of pre-recorded behavior patterns. The Sentiment analysis algorithms could easily spot children who lie about being nice, but also detect good intentions that went bad.

And if you’re thinking this is just like the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter, well, you are close. With one major difference, we can give our AI a less grumpy attitude! :D

Carol FrostByte
That sounds like a pretty sustainable solution, so far…


Moreover, this system would be integrated with Santa’s powerful CRM (also known as the Children Relationship Management), that allows the elves to view the child behavior status and perform final QA on gift allocation.

The changes could be automatically saved, but the security details would be discussed along with Santa’s ET (Elf-Tech) department.

The system would be compatible cross-device, of course, because we want to ensure the mobility of the elves, not hinder them.

To ensure a high employment engagement rate, we also suggest an agile work method. Our Project Managers have created an agile work procedure that ensures both efficiency and motivation for inter departmental collaboration. It can easily be adapted for various business types and for large teams.

Carol FrostByte
Well the future sounds pretty exciting! But redesigning a decade-old system is a daring task…


It’s gonna be a challenge, but not the first one we have encountered. We believe it’s also going to be a lot of fun! The benefits would show both for the elves and the children all across the world.

If you like our work and have an interesting digital project send us a message and let’s get in touch.

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