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Lowe?s catches Santa in his tracks via smart home app

Lowe?s is spreading holiday cheer within its newest smart home mobile application by enabling users to leverage the brand?s first-ever Santa Tracker to prove Mr. Claus visited their homes and uncover his trail to the Christmas tree.

The home improvement marketer is boosting awareness of its Iris by Lowe?s smart home app by integrating new features including ?Santa sensors? and a ?Santa camera? to excite holiday enthusiasts. Mobile users will be able to prove Santa?s visit to their residence and track his footsteps through their home on Christmas, proving that smart home solutions can inject seasonal themes into their services to become more relevant to consumers.

"Iris' Santa Tracker offers a simple, fun way for families to bring the holidays to life," said Mick Koster, vice president and general manager of Iris Home Systems. "Smart homes shouldn't just be smart ? they should be fun and make life more enjoyable.?

Useful tracking
Lowe?s is encouraging believers and skeptics alike to use the brand?s Santa Tracker tool, located within the Iris by Lowe?s mobile app. This recent incarnation of Iris, a do-it-yourself smart home system, was designed to help families prove Santa?s whereabouts in their homes on Christmas, as well as track his exact movements throughout the residence.

Consumers who sign up for the Santa Tracker will be prompted to answer a slew of questions that will enable Iris smart home devices to sync with the app feature. On the morning of December 25, users will be able to see when, where and how Jolly Old Saint Nicholas visited their homes.

They may also view Mr. Claus dropping presents underneath the tree or sneaking some milk and cookies.

Additional app tools include ?Santa sensors? and ?Santa cameras.? These sensors will be able to tell if Santa is tiptoeing through the living room, enjoying a snack in the kitchen or dropping off gifts in Christmas stockings.

This offers Lowe?s the ability to creatively market its Iris smart home devices, which allow consumers to communicate with their homes remotely and via mobile. Existing customers may open the revamped Iris by Lowe?s app and select the Santa Tracker button on the homepage to take advantage of this holiday-themed tool.

However, Lowe?s is also making the Tracker available to non-Iris customers, a move which could convert some individuals into future fans. Mobile users may download the complimentary Iris by Lowe?s Santa Tracker app for their iOS or Android smartphones and follow the setup instructions.

Afterwards, users will be able to choose where Santa?s reindeer are most likely to land, where Mr. Claus will enter and exit the home and indicate what he might do once he is inside, such as fill stockings or drop by for milk and sweet treats.

They can later snap a photo of the area in which Santa is expected to arrive, and check the app on Christmas morning to confirm his trail and see proof of his visit.

Smart technology?s ascent
Smart home technology is beginning to gain serious traction among many consumers, especially mobile-savvy millennials who may prefer to communicate with various appliances even after they have left the home.

Vivint is another example of a brand highlighting mobile?s growing role in home security by introducing an app that oversees consumers? smart home devices and systems, offering the ability to control various appliances remotely (see story).

Ultimately, Lowe?s is well-poised to excite a slew of holiday fans with the release of its Santa Tracker feature, which also functions as a prime advertising method for the Iris products.

?Within Lowe's, our Iris team is committed to helping customers create a deeper relationship with their home through smart home technology,? Mr. Koster said. ?By dedicating a little of our after-hours time to integrate Iris' real and virtual technologies this season, we're hoping to enhance each family's holiday experience and play a magical part in creating lasting memories."

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Marketer, New York