Christmas Castle 2018

Heraklion, Crete

1 December, 2018 — 7 January, 2019

The Municipality of Heraklion invited ICS-FORTH to participate in the “Christmas Castle” celebrations for a second year in a row; in fact, ICS-FORTH was alloted a bigger section of the overall facilities than the year before. As a result, AmI systems were housed in six locations, offering visitors a chance to travel in the magical world of Christmas through innovative interactive applications.

A novel system that combines a mechanical speaking doll with videos of flight over the city of Heraklion, the sleigh of Santa Claus with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ready to guide it, was presented to the right of the eastern entrance. Rudolph invites children to become Santa Claus’ assistants and deliver presents to everyone in Heraklion, through a virtual interactive trip over the city center.

In the “House of Elves” young visitors were able to contribute to the work of Santa Claus by: a) choosing presents that are ecologically friendly, b) defining the right continent that presents should be sent to and c) helping Santa, while using a physical pump, to deliver the presents to children’s houses.

The surprises of ICS-FORTH continued in Santa Claus’ House, where a group of dwarves welcome children and adults to their laboratory of Christmas gifts.

In the “House of Fairytales” children participated by playful interaction in the narration of selected fairytales.

The spirit of joy and nostalgia ended with the interactive systems of the Municipality of Heraklion, originally presented in the “Techn-e-ology” exhibition, part of the “Art en Route 2017” festival. Inspired by the Crete of yesteryear, the systems take visitors on a journey of Christmas pictures and sounds.

Wooden sculptures decorated the outside of the Christmas houses with enlightened figures that were turning on/off in different colors according to the music played in the Christmas Castle.