As we are constantly creating new ways for technology to improve our daily lives, routines, and ideas–it’s no surprise that technology has also upgraded our holidays. Halloween is no exception.
No longer just the motion sensor in a candy bowl or a block of dry ice melting away slowly in a witch’s cauldron-this high tech Fall holiday now includes:
Interactive Costumes- Gone are the days where a ghost outfit is sufficiently created by throwing a bed sheet on and cutting facial holes. Many costumes include flashing lights and dramatic movements at the flick of a remote control. Nick, 18, wore the same costume for the past two years. When he pushes the remote, fake blood runs down the mask, and people can’t help but comment on it. So much for an 18 year old boy being worried about wearing the same thing year after year!
Movable Decorations- Theme parks, haunted houses, spooky mazes, pumpkin patches and even houses advertise the high tech Halloween craze. It’s not just lights, holograms, and digital sounds that are scaring both the young and old these days. Halloween decorators all look for technology to take spooky to the next level.
For the Halloween season, Knott’s Berry Farm in California becomes Knott’s Scary Farm, and this year they have a special section of the park called Special Ops: Infected where guests are armed with infrared-emitting rifles to hunt zombies. It’s apparently possible to still play video games this year while outside enjoying the Halloween festivities.
(Anti?) Social Spheres- If one is too scared to go to a haunted house, digital cameras have brought the scary home. Many theme parks such as Silverwood Theme Park in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (aka ScaryWood during Halloween) take digital photos of startled guests and post them online. Googling “Haunted House Photos” will illicit pictures of people’s reactions to being scared. Talk about hours of fun while being safe and sound in your own home!
When Halloween is over and all you have left is empty candy wrappers you can use technology to keep those spooky memories alive throughout the year. Uploading photos to Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook is only one way to savor Halloween memories. You can also take advantage of specials on sites like Snapfish that constantly offer specials to print pictures of your little princesses and monsters. Snapfish also has an app that offers specials when you order directly through the app instead of on the website.
Spooky Smartphones- For Smartphones, there are Halloween apps to add spooky ringtones, Halloween wallpaper, photo montages with choices of costumes and even Halloween countdowns. Smartphones can also help people celebrate Halloween by becoming part of a Halloween costume. Digital Dudz, part of the Morph Costume Company, has a free app to create an incredible costume. Just download the app and then place it in one of their t-shirts, masks, or morph suits to create an ultra-modern costume. Eyeballs move, hearts beat, and there is even a throbbing brain as part of a Zombie Brains Mask. The app is free, and the apparel can be purchased online through their website.
We found apps to manage your whole home Halloween setup- including sound systems and lights. There is always still room for the dry ice, but why not add digital sound effects from phone apps to make your doorway a little darker?
When unsure of Halloween plans, a smartphone will help! The Pinterest app will help with collecting ideas for costumes, props, Halloween recipes, party ideas and high tech costumes.
Always Watching- Lots of available gear can help capture scary moments. Purchase high tech gear at places like Home Depot or online to make your own home haunted and reap the benefits. Wireless cameras and motion detectors can be put in pumpkins, props and on porches to keep an eye on trick or treaters stealing candy and even cue you when they arrive. Many can also be linked to smartphones,
Super Safety- Halloween apps can also be used to improve safety during the spookiest night of the year. You can use your smartphone to monitor your family members as they go trick or treating, or as they stumble through a corn maze. Glympse is a free location app to share GPS with others that’s available for both android and iPhones. And Glympse isn’t just an app to use for Halloween but throughout the year at festivals, concerts, or other crowded places you and your family may wander.
As technology continues to improve our lives not only daily, but throughout the year, we will continue to see high technology used in our customs, cultures and celebrations. Halloween is only one night a year, but available technology to make it more scary, fun, and safe will make it a treat that will last.