British coding and computing startup Kano has struck a partnership with Apple to sell its “Harry Potter”-themed coding wand in more than 300 Apple stores across the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand in December.
The coding wand is a physical device that works in tandem with Kano’s app. The app allows kids to build blocks of code which are then translated into “Harry Potter” spells when they wave the wand. They can go through step-by-step challenges or simply experiment to see what effect tinkering with the code can have on the spells.
Kano CEO and founder Alex Klein told Business Insider that Apple approached Kano about the partnership. “We’ve known the folks at Apple for a while in different parts of the organisation but in this instance the opportunity was to bring in the wand, especially because it’s designed ground-up to work with iOS and with tablets,” he said. The Kano wand also works with Windows and Android.
Among the host of spells available to them, kids can make feathers fly, potions bubble, and pygmy puffs change colour.
You can watch James and Oliver Phelps, who play the characters Fred and George Weasley in the “Harry Potter” films, learning to use the wand here:
Klein said his favourite spell at at the moment is “Musicalis,” which allows users to play with the pitch of a musical note by turning their wand.
From December through to the end of January people will also be able to go and demo the wands in the Apple stores. “People will be able to see the wand at work, give it a wave, drag a code block, change the colour of a spell… all of that will be a direct, in-person and explained wizarding experience,” said Klein.
Klein says he likes the link between the wizarding world and coding because he feels the wand has the ability to unlock the secrets of how technology actually works.
“Technology which has been delivered to us in these beautiful temples that can solve so many problems but so few of us know how it works, has the ability to create a sort of contemporary magic if you can understand it, and if you can change it and manipulate it,” he said.
The wand costs $99.99 in the US and £99.99 in the UK.
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