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Robot Arm Lets You Digitally Decorate Christmas Tree for Charity

Tue, 11/20/2012 - 10:56am

Hanging ornaments on a Christmas tree is typically an activity you do with your family — but how about decorating a tree with people from around the globe? Now you can do that, on the interwebs, with the first digital Christmas tree decorating event.

The live, three-day event began on Monday, Nov. 19, and continues through Nov. 21. Each ornament you digitally hang on the Communitree sends a $5 donation to the Philadelphia branch of the Toys for Tots Foundation. Share the ornaments on Facebook and every Like raises an additional quarter. So far, the Communitree has raised nearly $5,000, but there is still a ways to go to reach the $20,000 goal. The tree will be live on Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. EST – 7 p.m. EST.

From your computer, users take turns operating a physical robotic arm to position and hang ornaments on a rotating Christmas tree. To participate, sign up at the Communitree website. The live stream is hosted by colorful characters who sit around the tree in a festively decorated apartment.

Hanging an ornament is free, just sign in with your Facebook account. Users who share their ornaments on Facebook and get Likes will move up the leader board on the site to show who is raising the most money from sharing with their social networks.

There is a phone on set that users can call into to request holiday songs, ask questions or joke around with the hosts. You can also interact with them on Twitter via @TheCommunitree.

The event is the idea of two companies — Scentsicles, which sells ornaments that smell like Christmas trees, and Balsam Hill, an online retailer specializing in artificial Christmas trees. The Communitree was created by Made Movement, a marketing agency dedicated to a resurgence in American manufacturing, in collaboration with Deeplocal, a Pittsburgh-based design and development studio.

“Our goal with the Communitree is to create a new holiday tradition that builds a community effort focused on helping kids,” said Thomas Harmon, CEO of Balsam Hill. “The Communitree has been designed for people to watch and enjoy or to actively participate and generate donations to a good cause, while also demonstrating the realness of the products.”

Will you be donating online to any charities this year? Which are your favorites?

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November 20, 2012

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