Parents will no longer lose sleep on Christmas Eve as their children stay up to hear the sound of reindeer on the roof. This is all thanks to Google’s newly-launched Santa Tracker app, which follows old Saint Nick as he leaves the North Pole and makes his journey delivering gifts around the world.
Currently the app features a countdown clock in the middle of the screen. Once the clock hits zero, kids can track Santa’s exact location and his next stop to guarantee the Father of Christmas doesn’t skip their house. Google will start mapping the virtual character’s whereabouts at 2 p.m. PST on Christmas Eve.
The app also offers detailed departure times down to the second, as well as how many presents have been dropped off. The left corner of the platform houses a pull-down menu with links to all the ways users can track Santa, with options including Google+, an Android app, a Chrome browser extension, and the Google Earth app.
Kids can also be entertained by games featuring elves, sleighs and gifts as they anxiously await Santa’s arrival. Parents can even have Santa call them through Google Voice or interact with him through messages on Google+.
Powered by an algorithm that charts Santa’s travels from city to city, the Santa Tracker is Google’s new iteration of a platform to follow the jolly old man’s journey after ending its five-year Christmas partnership with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). NORAD has instead collaborated with Microsoft Bing this year to track the bearded man’s travels with their service, which will use 2D Bing Maps or view 3D routes on Cesium, and will launch on Christmas Eve.