For centuries, the jolly man in the red suit, his large crowd of elves, and his reindeer Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and – of course – Rudolph, have brought us joy at this time of the year.

In January, Santa Claus approached us with a special request: identifying cutting-edge startups to cooperate with in order to shorten the waiting time for kids and children at heart. We were thrilled to carry out this search – and, also, we didn’t want to end up on his naughty list.

To support Santa in keeping up with the digital transformation we evaluated 2412 startups to identify emerging technologies disrupting Christmas. This Breakdown reveals the five most influential innovation areas and most promising startups that deeply impact this season.

 


Our Mission: Identify technologies that bring Christmas to the next level!

Secure Wish Cloud (SWC)

The traditional Manual Wishing Process (aka letters) is very time-consuming and ineffective, leaving an immense potential for improvement.

In the Secure Wish Cloud, millions of letters are digitized with the help of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) & Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) and kept secure & free of manipulation in the SWC using blockchain technology.

Cloud technologies are expected to improve dramatically, reaching even shorter reaction times and are presently used in solution packages, the newest addition to which is Christmas as a Service (CaaS).

Once all wishes are uploaded to the SWC, Santa and his little helpers are able to automatically select who makes the nice & naughty list and to virtually distribute value by deciding who gets what based on metrics like interest, age, and request.

Sisense provides a solution for preparing, analyzing and visualizing big or separate datasets thus making sense of complex data. The startup allows for all data to be visualized in one place, offering interactive data analytics. Using this solution, Santa will be able to know how children react to incentives and external conditions.

Secure Wish Cloud (SWC)

Will this innovation area disrupt the industry?

Big Data & Predictive Analytics

The upload of all wishes into the SWC generates a vast amount of data which is difficult to handle, even for Santa. However, data and analytics play a crucial role in creating value.

Big data equips Mr. Claus to estimate which and how many gifts need to be prepared, wrapped and delivered, reducing downtime by up to 45% while increasing output by up to 25%.

Used in real-time, big data allows for production planning – two powerful technologies that optimize and accelerate the manufacturing of gifts.

“Making data talk” is the specialty of startup 7LYTIX. The company uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to put big data in the right context and predict future developments. Especially helpful to Santa are demand forecasts and automated order recommendations along with customer value predictions and personalized product recommendations.

Big Data & Predictive Analytics

Will this innovation area disrupt the industry?

Smart Gift Factory

The manufacturing of millions of gifts is considered to be very time-consuming, however, that changes as Industry 4.0 makes its mark on Christmas.

Producing more diverse and personalized presents becomes more flexible while optimizing fabrication processes. In the Smart Gift Factory, we experience a paradigm shift toward cyber-physical systems, overturning the traditional approach.

Elves employ connectivity and smart devices to work with disruptive technologies such as 3D Printing, advanced robotics, and gamification.

Additionally, the storage of all gifts is enhanced through warehouse automation and distributed warehousing, keeping a remote storage on each of the continents. This structure ultimately leads to increased efficiency, easy tracking as well as delivery planning.

Startup Inductive Automation developed Ignition, a service that connects all data across one enterprise to rapidly develop industrial information systems and scale them. Described as one “central hub for everything”, Santa and his elves will now be able to manage the entire manufacturing process from one place.

 

Smart Gift Factory

Will this innovation area disrupt the industry?

Wearables

Equipped with smart glasses and a smartwatch, Santa is able to receive added information on his environment such as whose house he is delivering to, whether they are on the naughty or nice list, and whether they prepared cookies and milk.

Moreover, smart devices enable access to the Secure Wish Cloud which dramatically improves the distribution of all gifts, ultimately speeding up delivery.

Perhaps the greatest asset, however, is the introduction of the Anti Grinch Radar (AGR). Using AGR through his smart glasses, Santa can prevent any threats to Christmas, granting the holiday spirit to reach all houses.

DAQRI’s smart glasses come with a wide field of optics, a powerful mobile processor and are equipped for outdoor use. Furthermore, the startup enables data visualization and guided work instructions using Augmented Reality (AR) technology while also allowing for elves to remotely assist Santa.

Wearables

Will this innovation area disrupt the industry?

Sleigh 2.0

The wellbeing of Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph is one of Santa’s top priorities. They have been the driving force behind the sleigh since 1819 and will continue to do so – with a twist.

Equipped for material handling scenarios thus aiding performance and improving sensing capabilities, drone technology will take over delivery this year.

As process execution is improved, delivery will be more timely and with fewer breakdowns, decreasing the number of impatient kids by 24%. Moreover, Santa and the reindeer will experience a much safer work environment with the employment of drones – just think of all those slippery roofs!

Matternet’s M2 Drones are designed to carry payloads of up to 2 kilograms over distances of up to 20 kilometers. The Swiss startup’s mission is to make access to goods frictionless and universal. With applications in the healthcare, e-commerce, logistics, and humanitarian sector, Matternet will also support Santa this year.

Sleigh 2.0

Will this innovation area disrupt the industry?

Undoubtedly, Mr. Claus and his little helpers encounter a wide variety of disruptive technologies and cutting-edge startups that influence Christmas as well as other industries. Santa has done an incredible job in the past centuries and the Noel technologies (get it?) presented in this Breakdown assure that he will outperform himself this year.


Happy Holidays!
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