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Published December 9th 2014
World first interactive App for Adelaide
While the Rundle Mall shopping precinct may be looking bare this year and without the usual decorations hanging from the rafters, Adelaide City Council are actually doing quite a bit behind the scenes around the city this year to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. Activities include a free outdoor cinema, markets, some Christmas tree seedlings to give away and much more. They have even arranged with Santa for some elves to pop up from time to time to spread cheer. Something new developed especially for the people of Adelaide for the Christmas season this year, is an app called "Christmas in Adelaide". I recently gathered some family members to give the new app a trial run, which turned out to be much more fun than we anticipated.
The person in charge of technical details in our group decided to download the app at home to prevent little kids standing around waiting too long. Alternatively, you can download the app when you are within the free Adelaide city wifi zone if you wish. For wifi locations see here.
Once your app is ready to go, you walk around the main areas of Rundle Mall, King Willliam Street and near the Central Market to find the big red dots stuck on the pavement, in busy areas where people are walking by. There is also a dot opposite the town hall; folllow the red and white striped candy poles.
It took a bit of juggling about of the phone but then suddenly shrieks of delight from us all, as we saw our first image appear like magic - Rudolph the Reindeer! If someone stands near the dot you can take a picture of the person next to Rudolph or Santa or whatever image you are standing near.
People walked by and were staring at us, as they had no idea what we were looking at, because we were saying things such as "wait till the reindeer looks around at you", and then we could take a photo. We stopped and talked with many people and told them what we were doing. Everyone was amazed that they were walking right past these big red dots right beside a magical reindeer. No-one knew what it was about or had heard of the new app. It was a good way to interact with total strangers in the street and share some Christmas goodwill.
People walking by stopped to see what we were doing
We found four red dots, a Rudolph Reindeer, a pile of presents, Santa in a sleigh, around the central markets and at the big Christmas tree in Victoria Square. There are more but we will leave them for another day.
Later as people were settling down getting ready for the outdoor cinema in the square Santas's elves were out spreading the word about the app with a map of where to locate the big red dots. However I felt my family did a good PR job that evening by letting passers-by know about the app and also demonstrating how it works.
My review of the activity overall is 4 stars out of 5. I take one star off because the map is really not user friendly. For a start, it is upside down. All maps are supposed to point north when the illustration is being read, but it had North Terrace at the bottom of the page. The street names are so small they can't be read, so for a visitor I think this would be confusing. Also I could find no information on the Adelaide council's website of where to pick up a map. We found one at the Central Market information booth at the Grote Street entrance next to the second hand book store. Check also at the Rundle Mall visitor information booth.
However overall we had fun, and most importantly spent time together as a family. Due to daylight saving young children cannot be up late to be going out at night to see Christmas lights and the like, so this is a great family activity to do in daylight hours. We spent well over an hour and a half locating 3 or 4 dots and taking photos. The kids thought it was amazing and when they asked where the moving picture came from, I just said, "oh, it's the magic of Christmas". This app is a world first developed by Adelaide company Resin, who are an animation and visual effects team so we are privileged indeed.
Playing with the Christmas in Adelaide app was lots of fun for all the family
There is a competition currently running for your photos of the app in use with some great prizes up for grabs. You need to enter via social media to #Christmas in ADL@Nova 919. Conditions of entry are on the website below. See the section named Santa in the City or search christmas app in the website search box.
Details on the poster at the Christmas tree in Victoria Square and also written on the red dots
This is a fun new high-tech activity to share with young and old alike, and something different. Give it a try with your loved ones when you are next in the city and maybe share the fun with some passers by.