Kano magics up a Harry Potter Coding Kit — build-it-yourself wand included

I’ve been very impressed with Kano’s build-it-yourself computer kits and their accessories over the last few years, but their latest product is the most exciting yet for any child (or, indeed, grown-up) who’s a fan of the Harry Potter books and films.

It’s called the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit, and it has the same ‘make it before you use it’ philosophy as Kano’s other devices. Children build their own wand, which they can then use with companion apps for Apple and Android devices (or PCs and Macs) if they don’t already have one of Kano’s own computers.

“The build-it-yourself wireless wand shows fans of all ages how to code and create, as you flick and swish through more than 70 challenges inspired by the Wizarding World. The wand works with software and a connected app to capture movements and turn them into rich effects. It lets you make serpents slither, toads transfigure, fires flow, feathers float, goblets duplicate, Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans enlarge, and more,” explained Kano as it revealed the new kit.

The wand is a pretty good piece of technology in its own right: it’s got lights, a rumble pack, a gyroscope, an accelerometer and a magnetometer, which are what helps it track the hand movements of its owner — and translate them into on-screen actions when pointed.

Once assembled, makers download the Kano app to start unlocking challenges across six iconic Wizarding World settings including Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade and The Forbidden Forest,” explained Kano. “The creative challenges teach the fundamentals of coding and introduce the basic concepts of real-world programming thanks to a block-based interface and a JavaScript inspector, guided by simple steps.”

The bad news for anyone salivating at the chance to get spellcasting: the kit won’t go on sale until the start of October, although Kano has opened pre-orders. It’ll cost £99.99 here in the UK, which translates to $99.99 in the US. Canada, Australia and New Zealand will also be getting the kit as soon as it comes out.