Christmas 2006

Christmas 2005 should be a lotta fun but there is always room for improvement and some ideas just won't make it for 2005. Here are some ideas for Christmas 2006, and comment on the christmas blog and/or email me your suggestions.

1. Some sort of text based light board where you can enter the text.   I got this clever idea from these guys where they have a webcam pointing at a computer screen, and you can enter some text and it is displayed. Would be really cool if I could have some sort of alphanumeric text board that I could feed data too. For halloween I setup a laptop in front of webcam3 and surfers could basically do "Instant Message on Webcam" which worked darn well and was fun.

2. Possible new bells & whistles with Webcam and Webcontrol.   The Webcam and WebControl (which allowed folks to not only view the lights in real-time, but also turn them ON and OFF) is a big hit, so I'm always curious to see what technologies come my way for christmas 2006 and see how they can be used.

3. Streaming video on webcam.   Related to point #2 above, I'd love to do streaming video rather than refreshed JPEG's ... although the later can be used to make some decent crazy christmas videos.

4. Alternative home automation technology.   X10 isn't bad, but it would be way cool if some sort of cheap, easy-to-use, home automation technology could be deployed for 2006 Christmas that had milli-second latencies, two way communication, and 99.99% reliability - hey, I'm not asking for much! ;-)

5. Display which countries Christmas 2006 web surfers are coming from. Since I have the geolocation stuff working, I used the Google API to generate some halloween maps so expect to see some nifty christmas maps showing where in the world surfers are coming from.

6. More fund-raising.   It was not only fun raising money for celiac disease but it made me feel "good" ... so I'll be doing that again - total as of Halloween/2006 was over $14,000!

Be sure to check back here around Thanksgiving 2006 for the christmas decorations where you can view and control 'em via the christmas webcam - christmas 2006 should be even better!

Update #1: Everything is up and running.
Update #2: It worked great and was a ton of fun ... HO-HO-HO! ;-)

P.S. I'm already thinking about christmas 2007.