Noah Kiser is six months into leukemia treatment at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas. Although Christmas is days away, he must remain hospitalized for the time of year when he loves “seeing other people jump for joy.”
But thanks to Cisco networking technology and some very tech-savvy elves, Noah was able to visit Santa this year without leaving the hospital.
Through the “Connected Santa” program, Cisco engineers set up the TelePresence video conferencing solution to connect Santa Claus in the North Pole to hospitalized children.
“With high definition video conferencing, Santa is on one end and the children are on another end,” Cisco systems engineer Anthony Whitlock explained to an Austin television station. “They can see each other and talk to each other.”
For kids too sick to leave their hospital beds to go to a common area, Santa can visit their rooms via a mobile video cart.
This year, hospitals in the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Northern Ireland participated in Connected Santa.
Children speak directly with Santa, tell him their Christmas wishes, and, at some hospitals, get presents from Santa’s “helpers.” For example, Cisco employees in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Northern Ireland donated more than 500 gifts for children at participating hospitals.
Santa is obviously a very busy man at this time of year. Everyone here at Cisco appreciates him taking the time to be part of our human network – and to use our technology network to bring smiles to children’s faces.
“Over the years, Santa and his team of elves have continually looked for new and innovative ways to make toys and communicate with children,” said Donald McLaughlin, director for Cisco Scotland. “It’s only natural that Santa will be using the latest video technology to pay a personal visit to children in hospital.”