Follow Santa’s Christmas Adventures with OnStar and NORAD
As kids across the country anxiously await Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve, OnStar can keep your family aware of jolly Ol’ St. Nick’s whereabouts with a simple press of the “blue button.” If your kids are especially anxious to know what Kris Kringle is up to, OnStar Advisors can provide specific location-based updates on Santa Claus’ annual trek around the world based on data received in partnership with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
“We see this holiday tradition as staying true to keeping subscribers connected in ways they never thought possible,” said Terry Inch, Chief Operating Officer of OnStar. “We know many of our customers will be glad to know Santa’s location information is just one blue button press away.”
Beginning at 7 a.m. EST on Christmas Eve, OnStar subscribers, including OnStar FMV owners, can press the blue OnStar button in their vehicles to request a “Santa Update.” OnStar advisors will share Santa’s current location through 5 a.m. EST Christmas morning. Individuals without an OnStar subscription can visit noradsanta.org or dial 877 HI-NORAD (877-446-6723) for Santa’s location, or send an email to email@example.com.
Before Santa's travels begin on Christmas eve, visitors to noradsanta.org can enjoy a Countdown Calendar that includes a Kid’s Countdown Village complete with holiday games and activities that change daily, and video messages from students and troops from around the world. Between now and Christmas eve, parents and children can count down the days until Santa’s takeoff on their smart phones using free apps available in the Apple iTunes Store and in the Android Market, while additional tracking opportunities are also offered on Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and Twitter. Also new this year, the website features Santa’s elves in the North Pole Village. NORAD Tracks Santa is introducing the newest elf and asking the public to help choose the perfect name for him. Details can be found via NORAD Tracks Santa social media or in the "Name the Elf" video in Santa’s North Pole Movie Theater at www.noradsanta.org.
NORAD uses its North Warning Radar System, which has 47 installations across Canada and Alaska, and uses geo-synchronous satellites with infrared sensors and other technologies to monitor Santa’s Christmas Eve travels and share the information with children and families around the world. The website is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.
“NORAD stands the watch protecting the skies of North America 365 days a year, but on Christmas Eve the children of the world look to NORAD, and our trusted partners, to make sure that Santa is able to complete his mission safely,” said NORAD Commander Army Gen. Chuck Jacoby, Jr., before his Command was assumed by Admiral Bill Gortney earlier this month.
During the other 363 days of the year, NORAD is a bi-national United States and Canadian organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America. More information about NORAD can be found at www.norad.mil.
"Learning where Santa was throughout the evening made my four-year-old, Ashley, giggle every time,” said Ryan Edward, an OnStar subscriber. “It’s a great way to keep the kids entertained while traveling to family and friend’s homes.”
It all started in 1955 when a local media ad directed kids to call Santa direct – only the number was misprinted. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the Crew Commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center. Thus began the tradition that NORAD has carried on since it was officially created in 1958. NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will also stream videos as Santa makes his way over various locations worldwide. The video link at noradsanta.org will become active once Santa hits the Heavens.
OnStar, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors, is the leading provider of connected safety and security solutions, value-added mobility services, and advanced information technology. Already available on nearly every new General Motors vehicle, OnStar can also be installed on most other vehicle makes already on the road through a GM aftermarket product called OnStar FMV (For My Vehicle).