Harry Potter Spell

Thanks @maccast ! I don’t have the Universal Studios Harry Potter wands, so I’m trying a different approach. :slight_smile: Cheers!

Honestly yours is probably better since it’s “active”. The HP wand just has a passive IR reflector “bead” inserted into the tip, so you have to bounce the IR light off the tip and back into the sensor.

Hi all. Quick question that is probably completely off topic but I figured you all could give me an answer. Is there someplace to purchase the “reflective beads” that are on the tips of the HP interactive wands? I want to try and glue one to the tip of a non- interactive wand to make it work. Thoughts / suggestions are welcome. I apologize if this has already been covered but I didn’t see it mentioned in a quick glance of the the thread.


Well, it’s July and I’m the newest 2015 Parent coming with a cool idea to help bring the magic back into those expensive wands we bought this past week to our home in Alabama.

So, here is my extended idea and I don’t believe my additional requirement actually is difficult… for someone like… ummmmm I dunno… maccast or timothy high!! :slight_smile:

I already hit you both up directly, so this will seem redundant. But in short, how hard would it be for someone to add the ability for the software on the PC or (preferably raspberry pi if someone coded this yet to work on the pi with the wiiremote) to transmit the specific spell detected to an attached USB BLE device.

Why? I have an app that already extends another sensor I was helping someone build that receives any pre-configured BLE advertisement WITHOUT any pairing involved and once the app receives a match… like for a spell cast to turn on a green Hue light. The message is sent to my webservice that I already have available and such webservice then is a trigger for my IFTTT account.

So the result would be, my daughter casts a spell to turn on a green light and WALLA! Green light goes on. She casts a spell to turn hue light to Blue. Walla it goes blue! She casts a special spell to txt mommy a pre-configured message “I love you” walla! Mom receives a SMS that says I love you! How you might ask!? I already told ya! My app detects pre-configured unique BLE advertisement for each spell we setup and that message (JSON push) to my webserver which is connected to IFTTT and a recipe in IFTTT is already setup to do ANYTHING! Okay, maybe not anything, like it won’t float a feather or create a rainstorm. But it really could do some magical stuff for the kids and all I would need to do is add more IFTTT recipes linked with spells in the app.

Anyone interested in helping get the IR spell cast detection transmitting a BLE advertisement in the format I require for my app? I’ll do the rest and provide to others to use if this works.


P.S. I’m not a programmer… I’m an innovator and connect the parts together after begging for help from smart coders like Timothy and maccast to help me implement the vision!

1 Like

Hi all!
First let me tell you I live 5 min from Universal Orlando and as a season holder me and my wife go to Hogsmeade twice a week. We love it there. Anyway we’re both big into arduino and steam education and just purchased our first interactive wand this evening. I know 2 things. It definitely works via reflective glass bead in the tip and there is now a patent online you can read. Here is the link:

So if any of you want me to try out your wand device at the park just let me know and we can arrange to have you ship it to me to try out at the park. Let me know because I will be working on cracking this technology myself too.

I actually have made a little progress, but I’m headed in a bit different direction. I’m trying to build a system that would use Bluetooth LE, but work locally and without a PC. I’ve been focused on a sensor and camera system that is NOT a wiimote and sensor bar. I have figured some of the hardware out. I’m using a Pixy camera modified to track IR light and using 940nm IR LEDs to reflect back off the tip of the wand. The camera and IR system is then connected to an Arduino. I have been able to program the Arduino to detect the wand and turn on and off an LED. Good news is the system could possibly be adapted to send out a BTLE signature using a Bluetooth shield for Arduino.

My biggest challenge now is working out the programming for the Arduino to detect the individual spell patterns. I’ve been looking over Tim’s code and he said he may be able help me with the math. My biggest challenge is time.

I’d love to help as much as I can, but my resources would be limited.

Thanks Steameister! I’ll actually be in Orlando in September, hoping to try a wand prototype then. So jealous that you get to have butterbeer all of the time.

My thoughts on the whole situation:
The wands work by reflecting IR light. A camera picks up the light being reflected, tracks it, and then checks to see if it performs the right sequence. All of that is based off of this image from the patent: https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/US20140240102A1/US20140240102A1-20140828-D00003.png

Could you potentially make your own ‘electronic’ wand by hooking up an IR led in series with a battery and a current limiting resistor? It will technically emit light which will be picked up by the cameras. This is my current game plan for my upcoming trip.

That Butterbeer is pretty awesome stuff :slight_smile: we tried an online recipe and made some at home and got really close to matching the flavor!
I’m going to be working on a totally differnt approach to the wand later this year. I’ll be sure ro share my progess and more info once I get into it.
Be sure to use the interactive wand in Diagon Alley too, there are 25 interactive spots over there and several “hidden” spots you have to find on a map (they’re invisible).

Think of the quidditch possibilities! The European tournament is on now…

Just spent 2 days in universal and found all you have to do is point your wand at the visible senor, no hand movements required. Hope this helps. Steameister, any chance you could snap a picture of the HP senor with a camera that picks up ir?

Hi all,
It looks like several people are trying to get the Wizarding Wands project to work this Christmas, but they can’t seem to get the software I made to run. Unfortunately, I think there may be some kind of incompatibility with Windows 10, and if so, I have no way to test it nor to fix it - I don’t even have a Windows computer anymore!

Can someone with Windows 10 give it a try? Even better, if there’s a C# programmer out there with Windows 10, everyone would be so grateful if you could fix whatever is breaking on the project!

Holiday cheers,

Hey Tim,
Are you on Linux or OS X? I still have some interest in seeing if your code can somehow be made to work in OS X on a Mac. Any interest? Maybe as a Swift project. I don’t know.

OS X - Macbook. I’ve seen some libraries for the Wiimote, so it’s possible. I just was more familiar with .NET than with Objective C when I did this, so that ended up being the unfortunate tool of choice. I actually just decided today that I’m going to try to get this working for Android. If you’d like to go tag team with Swift, I might be up for it.

I know this is old, but I just got back from Universal Studios with an interactive Harry Potter Wand and I am trying to get it to work at home with a Wiimote. I know @timothy_high got it working, but I cannot. Here is what I have tried –

  1. Downloaded some software called Touchmote that pairs with a Wiimote for Windows 10.
  2. Set up and paired it with my PC. It works perfectly when I used the Wiimote with the Sensor bar
  3. When I turn the Wiimote and Sensor bar toward the wand and try to wave it around, it doesn’t register anything. I’ve tried every angle and distance I can think of.

From what I been reading, the wand just reflects the IR light back to the Wiimote so I feel like this should work. Can anyone help me see what I’m missing here?

Edit: I also downloaded the WiiWandz project from Github and built it successfully on Windows 10 and got it to run, but I still have the same issue. Wiimote and sensor work great, but nothing happens with the wand :frowning:

Edit 2: Nevermind! It works now with WindWandz on Windows 10. I just need to be about a foot or so away from the Wiimote. Woot.

1 Like

I’m not really sure on the Windows side of things as I’m a Mac guy. I’ve done it on the Mac using a couple different techniques, but it’s been a long time. I used Darwiin Remote, https://sourceforge.net/projects/darwiin-remote/ and set up a serial connection to an old OS X technology called Quartz Composer.

More recently I’ve been playing with setting up a system using an Arduino and some 940nm LEDs and a blob tracking camera called the Pixy which I modded with an IR kit from IR-Lock as I described above. As far as I got though was writing a program that just detects the reflected light from the wand tip and triggers an LED on and off. I still have yet to do any true tracking and the reliability of the IR LED detection is not great.

I realize this thread has been dormant for a few months now. My family and I just got back from Universal a couple of days ago. We had acquired HP interactive wands and loved them. I would love to build a wand and found this thread.

The patent that @Steameister posted mentions the Microsoft Kinect system, which operates at 827nm, according to this link: https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/48fd741b-b858-46c5-8668-96efbaff9573/kinect-ir?forum=kinectsdk.

Has anyone tried using the Kinect system to view the wands? I wonder if that would make them easier to see, over the 940nm Wii system.

Thank you all for the useful information presented here!

Chuck M.

I just got back from Universal Orlando. I brought some IR filters with me. The sensors and backscatter light are clearly visible with the 850nm filter.

1 Like

Thanks for this info. That would seem to line up with the system working with the Wii set up. Still it seems like a 940nm system may work as well if not better? I never got very far with my testing though. Maybe someone with more IR experience could explain.

I believe 940nm is Wii. 827nm is XBOX Kinect.