Skip to main content

Not at Hogwarts? You can still build and use a wand thanks to Kano

Introducing the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit

You may not be able to get into Hogwarts (muggles that we all are), but that doesn’t mean that you can’t build your own wand. After all, who needs Ollivander and his wands when you have the new Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit? Heralded as the first-ever Harry Potter STEM project, this coding kit is the latest offering from runaway hit Kano, who first burst onto the coding scene via Kickstarter. By the end of 2017, it had shipped more than 200,000 of its original Raspberry Pi coding kits, and had also raised nearly $30 million. It’s now building upon that success by bringing to life one of the most popular mystical worlds of our (and previous and subsequent) generations.

The new Kano kit gives kids and adults alike the opportunity to build their own wands, and also comes with more than 70 magic-inspired coding challenges. The wand works by way of software and a companion app, which capture your movements and turn them into convincing effects. You can make snakes slither, toads turn into … not toads, set fires, and more. By carefully following the instructions of the coding manual, you’ll not only build a wand, but also learn about hardware by way of sensors, data, and of course, code.

As for the wand itself, it makes use of a gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer in order to keep tabs on its location and speed in space, which means it’s able to track your hand motion. Just like magic (or like computer science), the sensors will land a cursor on screen to reflect where you’re pointing, and also recognize what’s happening when you swish and flick to some signature spells.

“We’re surrounded by technology in our homes, workplaces and pockets, yet only a small percent of people, less than 1 percent of 1 percent, understand the happenings behind the screen,” said Alex Klein, Co-Founder and CEO of Kano. “We are thrilled to partner with Warner Bros Consumer Products to inspire people of all ages, all over the world to make their own code, and see how easy it can be to understand, play, and create with it.”

The Harry Potter Coding Kit is Kano first offering to be created with tablets in mind, and works with both Apple and Android devices, as well as Windows and Mac computers. The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit is available for now available for pre-order from the Kano website, and will set you back $100. The kit will go on sale around the world online beginning October 1, 2018, and will also be made available in retail stores in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
This GPT-powered Discord bot can teach you a new language — here’s how to use it
Memrise bot in the Discord app directory.

In some cases, the main hurdle to learning a new language is simply convenience. That's the issue Memrise is trying to tackle with its new Discord bot. If you're unfamiliar, Memrise is a language-learning app similar to Duolingo, but it uses GPT (the AI model behind ChatGPT) to engage the language-learning process.

The Discord bot allows you to have a natural conversation on your own Discord server in any of the 19 available languages. It's powered by the GPT-3 model, and Memrise includes a variety of conversation starters to get you practicing in your chosen language. Here's how to set up the app and use it.
How to use Memrise Discord bot

Read more
The 10 best ChatGPT Plugins you can use right now
OpenAI's website open on a MacBook, showing ChatGPT plugins.

ChatGPT is an amazing tool, but plugins make it even more so by unlocking a range of exciting new abilities. From booking a restaurant table for you to custom designing t-shirts based on your prompts, ChatGPT plugins are the future of AI chatbots. Until the next big thing comes along, at least.

Here are some of the best ChatGPT plugins you can use to leverage AI in ways you never even dreamed of.
How to use ChatGPT plugins
In order to run ChatGPT with plugins enabled, you need to be a ChatGPT Plus subscriber. It's $20 a month, but you get priority access to the chatbot so there's almost never any waiting, and you can also use advanced features like the GPT-4 language model, and play with the new web-search capabilities of ChatGPT.

Read more
OpenAI threatens lawsuit over student GPT-4 project, forgets you can use it for free
OpenAI's ChatGPT blog post is open on a computer monitor, taken from a high angle.

There's nothing quite like the nonprofit research group turned for-profit company OpenAI chasing down a computer science student over an open-source GPT-4 project. Sounds ridiculous, but it's true. The creators of ChatGPT are threatening a lawsuit against student Xtekky if he doesn't take down his GPT4free GitHub repository.

As reported by Tom's Hardware, GPT4free is an open-source project from a European computer science student. The student identifies as Xtekky, and his tool pings various websites that use GPT-4. You can clone the repository, set up the chatbot locally on your PC, and interact with GPT-4 without paying for OpenAI's ChatGPT Plus service.

Read more