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Festive tech stories of 2012

Posted by Joe McNamara on 20th December 2012

In place of our monthly news round-up, we’ve decided to share some of the most interesting and amusing stories that have cropped up this Christmas.

Black Friday registers record online sales

Last month, we outlined a few trends that are changing the way people do their Christmas shopping. Well, Black Friday saw online sales increase by 24% over last year’s equivalent. Even more interestingly, 14.4% of purchases were made using smartphones, adding credence to claims that mobile web-optimisation will become the norm in 2013 and that ‘showrooming’ is here to stay. According to the Telegraph, over three million Brits will shun the high-street this Christmas, preferring to shop online.

Pet dog swallows Christmas lights

If there are two things we love at EML Wildfire; it’s electronics and pets. So, when the former collided with Charlie, a seven-year-old cross-breed, we stood to attention. When the hungry pooch devoured a significant entanglement of Christmas lights, dreams of a turkey dinner with pigs in blankets were severely in doubt. Thankfully, Charlie underwent life-saving surgery to remove the lights from his stomach and, despite the happy ending, we all gained a valuable lesson. Never work with technology or animals (at least not at the same time).

Driving home for Christmas

We’ve spotted a couple of stories about things that can affect people’s driving at Christmas. The first is obvious – drinking. Well this year, a German company called Die Johanniter has used technology to enable one of the most powerful anti drink-driving campaigns ever. ‘Radio Ghosts’ is a recorded message using an MP3 player and an FM transmitter, which is broadcast into car radios when they stop at the scene of an accident, overriding popular radio channels.

On a more light-hearted note, almost nine out of ten drivers have admitted that hearing Christmas tunes in the car affects their mood, with six out of ten claiming some Christmas songs cause them to be less irritable on the road.

Top selling Christmas tech

Tech PRs have been scrambling around to get their products into the deluge of Christmas gift guides all month, but let’s face it, a few products require no introduction. It’s been a remarkable year for (client) Samsung, largely thanks to the success of the Galaxy S3, which goes into Christmas as the best-selling smartphone over the iPhone 5. Furthermore, November saw the games industry go to war with two of the best-selling shooting games of all time. Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 are both sure to take up a hell of a lot of time over the holidays.

Joe McNamara