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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

Harry Potter Coding Kit from KANO

Company: KANO
Available: October 2018
Price: $99.99 USD

One of British science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s widely cited three laws states: “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” This is apropos for the Harry Potter Coding Kit, a new STEM product from Kano that lets kids program a magic wand with signature spells from the Wizarding World.

Kids first follow instructions to build the wand, then gain access to the device’s built-in gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer. These sensors track location, speed, and hand position in three-dimensional space. The magic begins when the wand and app are paired via Bluetooth with a free companion coding app.

Kano has included 70 step-by-step coding challenges with the toy. As children string together commands to build their spells, the app displays colorful blocks of JavaScript code on one half of the screen and the live spell-in-progress on the other half. The split-screen view provides insight into some basic programming concepts, including loops, logic, and variables.

Kano also plans to allow kids to share their projects with other users using the Kano World website.

The Harry Potter Coding Kit is set to hit store shelves on October 1st for a price of $99 USD. The kit is available for pre-order now from Kano’s website.

Take a weekly look at a modern-day thing with a nostalgic influence.