Video calling Santa Claus

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As part of the Video Engineering team, my work contributes to the video experience in Stride and HipChat. The video conferencing system we work on is the Open Source Jitsi project, which was acquired by Atlassian over 2 years ago.

Being Open Source means others can use it too, and build all sorts of projects. People usually build things akin to meetings, but every once in a while we come across a project which is out of the ordinary.

Today I’d like to share a couple of those with you: Los Reyes Magos TV and Papa Noel Online.

These projects allow children in different regions in Spain to have a video conference with Santa Claus or one of The 3 Wise Men.

Isn’t that fantastic? It gets better: this is a non-profit initiative, part of a larger project, which is funded with the support of different charities and several town councils.

Last Christmas the project had over 4000 calls, each averaging 5 minutes!

Los Reyes Magos TV in action

About a month ago I had the pleasure of meeting Javi Arranz, CEO of Eternity Online and the mastermind behind this project. He is deeply involved in several charitable efforts in Spain and he wouldn’t stop praising our work on Jitsi, claiming he couldn’t have done it without it. The project has grown a lot since last year, with more town councils and organizations joining in, and there is a prospect of the project being launched in Latin America too!

We are incredibly proud and humbled that Open Source technology produced here at Atlassian is used in such wonderful and noble projects.