BLOOMFIELD HILLS (WWJ) — An iPhone and iPad app developed by two Michigan men has seen more than 200,000 downloads in more than 40 countries since its Nov. 18 introduction.

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Santa Spy Cam is the brain child of Jim Wilson and Alexander Craig and their BELIEVEin LLC.

Craig said Wilson — “Grandpa Jim” on the app’s support page — was “the visionary who had the idea… Jim approached me on the third of April. I thought about it for three days, and then told him, ‘I think we’ve got something here,’ so we cofounded the company.”

Santa Spy Cam uses magic (well, okay, blue screen technology) so parents can show their children scenes of their homes — or anywhere else for that matter — with elves, reindeer and Santa at work.

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The idea, Craig said, is to produce pictures “so that children who are of the ‘believe in’ age of 2 to 12 can see the results and really believe in what has happened — that elves and Santa Claus can visit their homes directly. In essence, what the app allows families to do is create a Christmas experience for the family.”

A demonstration, video and links to downloads are available at There’s also a YouTube video at this link.

The app itself is free, as are three of 32 possible scenes for Santa & Co. The rest are priced at 99 cents to $1.99. There are also storyboard-based bundles available.

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An Android version is due in 2014.