Winder Wonder #18: Santa Trackers & Self-Destructing Smartphones

Hello, seasons greetings & welcome back to our fortnightly technology update, full of the latest gadgets and the coolest stories in tech.

 

Today: Track Santa as he travels around the globe in real time, meet the smartphone used by secret agents and find out what a 5G future could look like (we’re predicting automatic watch winders connected to the Internet of Things!).

Why NORAD Have Been Tracking Santa for 60 Years

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) may not sound like the most festive organisation of all time but, 60 years ago a telephone number mix up began this high-tech government body’s yearly attempt to track the progress of Father Christmas.

Back in 1955, a department store advertisement encouraged children to telephone Santa. The company gave the wrong number, putting thousands of children through to NORAD rather than an actor or an automated recording.

Colonel Harry Shoup of NORAD immediately instructed telephone operators to give these young callers an update on Santa Claus’s progress according to their radars. A tradition which still exists today. Read all about it, or check out St Nicholas’s progress on NORAD’s interactive map, if you feel like indulging your childish side!

Meet Boeing & BlackBerry’s Self-Destructing Smartphone

Have you ever wished that your life was a little less humdrum and a little more James Bond? Do you nurse fears that your smartphone or data could fall into enemy hands?

Well, worry no more. In our privacy-centric world Boeing and BlackBerry have teamed up to develop a smartphone which will  wipe all of its data if a threat is detected. The high tech “Black” phone also includes biometric scanners, plus encryption for all calls.

Designed with secret services in mind, this smartphone is not yet available to the public and may never be. Wreathed in mystery the “Black” smartphone remains an enigma…for now.

How Will 5G Shape the Future?

You may think that 5G will simply be a faster version of 3G and 4G, however, industry experts are painting a much richer picture of what this technology could ultimately become. From complexly interconnected smart cities, to driverless cars and even truly remote surgery, 5G could well transform the world as we know it. The BBC website has more information.

Do you think there’s a need for high-security gadgets like the Black phone for regular citizens? How do you think 5G will change our future? Would you be interested in a linked up Internet of Things at home? Share your views with our readers below.