Wrapping gifts with digital Microsoft Tags and Windows Phone this year

EricLigman_TagOk, here’s a post for some fun this holiday season. First, I’ll admit it, I am one of those people who really enjoys wrapping presents each year and like to come up with new, fun ways to wrap the presents. At first I started out with different kinds of paper and unique ribbons, bells, or other add-ons. After that, I moved on to a favorite of wrapping smaller presents in bigger, weird shaped boxes with lots of other items in the box to throw off the weight and/or noise of the present, like including weights, bells, loose candy, and more inside the box. In past years, just about all of my wrapping included one present, wrapped inside another present, each being for someone other than the original present said it was for, and some exchanging hands up to five times before the actual present was unwrapped by the right person. This year, I thought I’d take a different twist…

With my kids being teenagers, I thought I would mix it up a little this year and bring in the digital world with Microsoft Tags, the internet, and Windows Phone for wrapping one present for them. After all, if you can’t have fun with the wrapping and opening of the presents, you’re missing out on a lot of fun. Smile Here’s how the fun went down:

In one of their presents, I hid the following paper: image and this Microsoft Tag took them to the internet page to the right –> image

As you can see, to find their present, they were required to get their Windows Phones and use Bing Vision on them. The picture on the page above is a cove here in our house that, as you can see, is decorated with fake presents. Well, on Christmas morning, I had placed another present in there that they needed to compare to the picture to see which one was out of place.

Once they found the present out of place, inside they found another Microsoft Tag which took them to the web page on the right –> image
Once they figured out they needed to go to the air hockey table, they found another Microsoft Tag, which showed them this web page –> image
A mad dash to the kitchen and a turn of the toaster revealed, yep, you guessed it, a Microsoft Tag, which led them to the following page –> image
A run back up the stairs to the theater room led them to another Microsoft Tag, which led them to the following internet page –> image
Trying to get the girls up and running Christmas morning, this clue not only led them back down the stairs, but also out into the garage to look inside the fridge, where they found a very cold Microsoft Tag, taking them to –> image
Back into the house and across to the dining room, where we have a Santa Clause by the window would once again reveal a Microsoft Tag, hidden on his belt, which would take them to –> image

Yep, sure enough, what they needed to find their actual present that they were looking for was hidden at the very bottom of the first box they unwrapped, below the packing peanuts they disregarded once they found their original boxes inside the first box. Of course, it was a Microsoft Tag, which led them to one final web page that revealed their present to them. Even in the world of digital wrapping and technology, a child’s eagerness to find their presents can never be underestimated, and how much fun it is to use that as part of the unwrapping fun. Smile

Anyway, I thought I would share this quick story with you about using Microsoft Tag and Windows Phone as part of the holiday fun for the kids in case you happened to find it interesting or if it possibly helped share some ideas with any of you to use in the future for fun. Also, if you have any fun or interesting ideas you’ve used in the past to share, I’d love to hear those as well.

Happy holidays and Happy New Year 2013 to you all.

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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and RSS and see “What I’m thinking
Director, Worldwide Partner Experience
Microsoft Corporation
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