Today’s popular voice assistants provide a super fun opportunity to find interactive experiences with Santa Claus that kids will love. Activate these experiences, and the voice assistants will walk users through questionnaires, conversations with elves, and of course talks with Santa himself that will yield music, stories and more. It can provide a lot of Christmas tech fun, and perhaps a much-needed distraction as the big day gets closer.
Not sure where to begin? Check out the voice commands that will get you started with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa—and what sort of experiences they will launch. Pick which one looks like the most fun or try them all out.
Get your kids to say this line, and it will launch an interactive experience from your Google Assistant speaker. Kids will encounter busy assistant elves before finally coming into contact with Santa himself, who is trying to plan a Christmas concert called Elfstock (haha). The kids can help him build the best song in his studio, which will play at the end of the game.
An enhanced version of this experience is available via smart displays, where you get some graphics to go along with the story—all the better to keep the kids entertained and/or distracted if you happen to have a Google Assistant compatible screen around.
The Santa Tracker is a special visual experience Google has started running around Christmas time. Of course, like all good Santa trackers, it shows where Santa is around the world at Christmas Eve. However, you can also use the interactive program throughout December to check out where Santa is in the North Pole and how the work for Christmas is coming along.
The catch is that you really need a Google Assistant smart display for this to work, like the Google Home Hub or the Lenovo Smart Display. The experience can work over a mobile device, but it’s not quite as fun for the family, and doesn’t offer the best visibility.
This is another one of the collection of new abilities that Google recently added to Assistant: Basically, it’s an interactive way to tell a story with a book you already have. Google Assistant will follow along as you read out loud and add its own sound effects and music as you go. If you’ve got time to read the story, you may as well invite Google Assistant along for the ride and get some backup.
For now, the feature is a little limited, with only a few stories available. Fortunately, that absolutely includes Christmas stories, including Mickey’s Christmas Carol and Mickey Mouse Goes Christmas Shopping, with more titles (often Disney-centric) being added as time goes on.
This simple command will help you and your kids to create a specific Christmas music playlist. Santa will come on and ask a series of questions about the type of music you like, including some humorous lines like, “Can I interest you in songs millennials have never heard of?”
The end result is that Santa, via iHeartRadio, will set up the ideal Christmas playlist and start playing it for you, whether you like pop, oldies, country, etc. The real prize, however, is “North Pole Radio” station, which Santa hosts himself, so you may just want to skip right to this station if you don’t really like your playlist.
This command starts a quick conversation with Santa Claus about what kids have done this week, and if any actions counted as “naughty” and how many times the naughty actions may have happened. Okay, that sounds a little creepy, but it’s actually a fun and effective tool for getting younger kids to think about their actions—and Santa Claus. Frankly, it’s far preferable to this Elf on a Shelf nonsense.
The Santa Tracker is enable thanks to a lot of worried elves that implanted trackers on Santa, his clothes, and his reindeer so they could always check up on him when necessary. Like all good Santa Trackers, this command is especially good on Christmas Eve where Santa can be tracked around the globe.