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Twitter Controlled Christmas Tree On Display In South Jersey

By Melony Roy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A team of interactive designers and social media specialists in New Jersey have created a holiday display operated solely through tweets and hashtags.

A Twitter controlled tree and menorah are on display at Oxford Communications in Lambertville, New Jersey.

"The overall idea was about gamification," says project manger Martin Slamon. "Imagine Suzie wants the tree to be green and Billy wants the tree to be red. They can almost have a war back and forth on social media to determine what color the tree will be."

"There's eight channels on this box which houses an "Arduino" microcomputer," he adds. "It's connected to the Internet and Twitter, so if people write a specific hashtag like #comfort, the tree collects that info which turns the lights to red."

The Ox-mas tree even has its own Twitter account @oxmas_tree

"What we really wanted to do was create a fun account that people would want to interact with as if it was a friend of theirs," says social media specialist Maddie Horvath.

The team created the holiday display to showcase how organizations can use social media to generate awareness.

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