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Santa Makes Cyber Stops at Children’s Hospitals Over Video Chat

Cisco’s Santa Connection Program brings one-on-one time with Santa Claus to children in hospitals this holiday season via iPad and Cisco Jabber Software.

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We often hear of the convenience and practicality of video conferencing in the business world, but there is truly an endless amount of uses for telepresence.

One particular use is exceptionally heartwarming, especially at this time of year.

This December, young patients at the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison received a wonderful gift they may not have otherwise experienced if not for video collaboration technology — meeting the one and only Santa Claus.

Many hospitalized children don’t have the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap in their local mall or shopping center, so Cisco Systems developed the Santa Connection Program to give children a one-on-one with Santa — in person in the hospital’s playroom or over video chat if they don’t feel well enough to leave their beds.

View photos of the children video chatting with Santa.

Hospital staff use either an iPad or a video monitor and web-enabled camera along with Cisco Jabber software to connect children with Santa, who has taken a break from wrapping presents and packing the sleigh to sit by the fire and chat with the children. In the background, stockings are hung by the chimney with care.

After a personal conversation with Santa and a detailed account of their wish lists, children can join their families and enjoy a holiday party complete with gifts at the hospital.

The Santa Connection Program was developed seven years ago. Last year, over 60 hospitals across three continents participated in the program.

Watch the video below to experience the holiday cheer at the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison: