Story image

Inventor aims to bring Christmas ornaments into 21st century

15 Dec 2015

The first documented use of a tree at a Christmas celebration was in the town square of Riga, the capital of Latvia, in 1510.

Now, Christmas trees are a staple of the celebration and can be seen in all their glory throughout December. In fact, it’s estimated about 80 million trees are purchased worldwide to be used in homes, shops and city centres.

Inspired to bring the 500 year old tradition into the modern world, Barton Listick has invented Jolly, the world’s first smart connected Christmas tree ornament, and launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund its production and release.

Listick says, "A few months ago while working on a different gadget project, my thoughts drifted to Christmas, and I realised in a flash that a Christmas tree ornament, using today's tiny technology and an Internet connection, could bring new fun and interactivity to the age-old Christmas tree. I immediately dropped my other project and set out to build that ornament."

The ornament is in the shape of a star with a square in the centre for a 1.5” OLED display. It can be configured using an app on an iPhone or Android and includes a variety of holiday-themed entertainment.

Users can set up Jolly to play a Christmas calendar countdown, Santa tracker, Bible verses and personalised animations. They can also transfer photos of family and friends from photo sites, phones and social networks.

“Imagine receiving holiday greetings from friends and family displayed right on your tree. We've dubbed that feature 'tree mail,' and it's just one of the crazy but fun possibilities that this new ornament makes possible,” says Listick.

The crowdfunding campaign aims to raise $50,000 and runs until the end of December, with the money going to finalising the production-ready model of Jolly, placing the first production order, completing the development of the apps and web-based portal, and shipping Jolly to backers.

Samsung & Trade Me offer AI-powered shopping
The smartphone camera & AI-powered tech, Trade Me says, is a ‘glimpse into the future of shopping’.
Neill Blomkamp's 'Conviction' is a prequel to BioWare's Anthem
You may remember Neill Blomkamp’s name from such films as District 9, Chappie, and Elysium. If you’ve seen any of those films, the short teaser trailer will seem somewhat familiar to you.
Security flaw in Xiaomi electric scooters could have deadly consequences
An attacker could target a rider, and then cause the scooter to suddenly brake or accelerate.
617 million stolen records up for sale on dark web
It may not be the first time the databases have been offered for sale.
IBM’s Project Debater unable to out-debate human
At this incredible display of technology, the result was remarkably close but the human managed to pip the machine in this instance.
LPL to broadcast weekly programming on Sky Sports
Let’s Play Live (LPL) has now announced it will broadcast weekly programming for the rest of 2019 on the Sky Sports channel from Sky TV. 
When hackers get the munchies, they just steal McDonalds
What happens when hackers get the munchies? Apparently in Canada, they decide to put their ‘hamburglar’ gloves on and go after unwitting people who happen to use the McDonalds app.
The smart home tech that will be huge in 2019
For millennial home buyers, a generation for whom technology has been ever-present, smart systems are the features they value above everything else.