October 31, 2016
Halloween is here. It’s a time of monsters, mayhem, and—of course—candy. But, Halloween today is a far cry from what it was ten or twenty years ago. Like everything else in our lives, technology has molded it, changed it, and made it more connected. Take a look around on the most haunted day of the year, and you may find your neighbors employing advanced technology solutions to enrich their experience.
Below we’ve compiled some of our favorite uses for advanced technology this Halloween. Take a look, if you dare.
The Future of Halloween is Here
- Virtual Reality Haunted Houses: Using VR goggles and applications, users will one day be able to walk through virtual haunted houses without leaving their home. However, there are already proto-versions of this Halloween tech available today. Sisters is a chilling experience in which the viewer is placed within a seemingly innocent room. As the story progresses, the television flickers, the walls go black, and an eerie doll appears where once there was nothing. In time, applications like these will become much more immersive and commonplace.
- Mobile Trick or Treat Apps: NextDoor is more than just a trick or treat app, but it becomes an extremely useful tool on Halloween. In essence, NextDoor is a private social media platform for your neighborhood. It maps out the area, includes crime reports, classifieds, and other notifications, but on Halloween, it also allows you to indicate whether you’ll be handing out candy this year. With this app, kids will be able to focus on the houses involved in Halloween and avoid those that aren’t.
- 3D Printed Costumes: Cosplay and costumes are a quintessential aspect of Halloween. From ghosts to ghouls, every kid (and many adults) laboriously plan and prepare their costumes for the big night. With advances in 3D printing, enthusiasts have the opportunity to design and create props for any costume that they can imagine.
- GPS Monitoring: As exhilarating as Halloween can be, it can be just as worrisome for parents. For those parents looking to keep tabs on their children, there are apps such as Trick or Tracker. This Halloween tech has a number of notable and useful features for monitoring your child’s whereabouts during their excursion. The app can be programmed to automatically send GPS coordinates of the child’s phone at regular intervals, it includes a “where is my child” button, and a notification when the child returns home. Finally, the app will also let parents determine a perimeter where the child is allowed to roam. If he or she leaves the boundaries, the parent will receive a notification.
- Home Security Systems: Halloween tends to focus on the “treat” half of the expression, but there are plenty of tricks on All Hallows Eve. Instead of getting your home TP’d or your car egged, you can install some basic security systems around your house to fight back against pranksters. The Electronic Security Association just recently launched a press release with strategies on how to use your home security system to make Halloween a safer experience for your family. From positioning your front door security camera to the right angle to monitoring your home with your smartphone, the ESA’s guide to “Using Smart Home Security Technology to Detect and Deter Unwanted Halloween Frights” is a valuable read.
Technology Only Goes So Far
As technologists, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the technical side of any topic, but at the end of the day, these apps and devices can only augment our Halloween experience. They can’t replace it. Halloween is about community and wonder, and that won’t change with an app. Tell your kids to stay safe, and have fun out there.
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