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Posted at 8:31 AM ET, 12/22/2010

Proving Santa is real, one iPhone app at a time

By Ian Shapira

All the technology skeptics who think the Internet and its devices are sapping our attention spans and killing our memories now have a new reason to loathe digital culture. In one of The Wall Street Journal's classic "A-Hed" front page features, Ellen Gamerman this morning wrote about the somewhat funny, somewhat disturbing trend involving parents who are using iPhone applications, edited videos, and Google Voice to create proof for their children that Santa exists.

Here's the money paragraph:

Simon Watson, a London-based salesman for a technology company, decided to tint Santa green as though captured by a night-vision camera to add realism to his iPhone app "Elf Cam." He created the app after last Christmas, when his then eight-year-old niece, Matilda, wanted to set up a trip wire to catch Santa on camera. The pressure is on to keep Matilda believing: "I let it slip about the Easter Bunny this year and there were tears in the supermarket," says her mother, Laura Watson.

In the Washington region, Gamerman reports that a Leesburg man has created a Web service that allows people to superimpose an image of Santa on an uploaded photo of their roofs. Jim Hallihan worked hard to make this service as realistic as possible, apparently paying $1,500 for a Santa look-alike and putting him through a three-hour photo shoot involving more than 150 poses. Parents who use his service have multiple Santa image options, including pictures of him "hauling a bag of gifts, grabbing his belly and crawling on his hands and knees."

By Ian Shapira  | December 22, 2010; 8:31 AM ET
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Next: Unusual Christmas tradition? Tell us.

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