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Kano tries to make learning code magical with its new Harry Potter Coding kit

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Kano’s DIY computer kits have been some of the more interesting learn-to-code projects out there, with brightly colored, well-designed hardware backed up by a surprisingly solid software backbone. But this October, the company is taking a jump from teaching coding projects to something a little more fantastical: teaching magic, or the next closest thing, anyway, with the new Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit. The kit combines a motion tracking wand with Kano’s software and the trappings of the Harry Potter world to make learning to code a little more magical.

If you’re familiar with Kano’s previous kits, the Harry Potter Coding Kit should be familiar. In line with Kano’s other products, you’ll snap together the pieces of the wand yourself, connect over Bluetooth to a computer, iOS, or Android device, and dive into a variety of Hogwarts-themed coding challenges that take advantage of the bevy of sensors built into the wand.


And Kano has packed in a lot of tech here: the wand itself features a gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer that together allow for full tracking of the wand in 3D space, along with the angle, speed, and direction that you’re moving it in for casting your “spells.”

As for the software itself, it’s very similar to Kano’s existing coding environments. There’s the same jigsaw-puzzle blocks that users will get to use to start learning coding logic and functions like loops and conditional statements, but there’s always the option to toggle over to the underlying JavaScript for more advanced users, too.

Out of the box, there’s a variety of Harry Potter-themed coding challenges set around a charming cartoon map of J.K. Rowling’s world, usually tasking the user to try to recreate some of the famous spells from the books and movies using Kano’s motion controlled code. For example, by pulling together blocks that track the movement and rotation of the wand and linking them to a cartoon owl, I was able to recreate the wingardium leviosa spell for lifting the owl in the air using the actual movements of the wand. More challenges are planned to be added over time, including a batch of Fantastic Beasts-themed ones set to coincide with the release of the Crimes of Grindelwald this fall.

But much like Kano’s other products, the preset projects are just the beginning — users will be able to take the tools and lessons they learn along the way to create their own spells and projects, which they’ll be able to share online with other Kano users.

The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit is available for preorder today for $99.99 ahead of an expected October 1st release date.

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