Nordic-powered Bluetooth LE Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand provides interactive experience

New Peak Interactive

Interactive smart wand from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment uses Nordic nRF52832 SoC for relaying touch/motion sensor ‘spell’ data to smartphone app

Design firm New Peak Interactive has partnered with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to develop and launch the new Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand™ employing Nordic Semiconductor Bluetooth® LE wireless connectivity. The collectible platform enables an interactive experience for Harry Potter fans and families. 

The solution comprises the Nordic nRF52832 SoC-powered ‘Smart Wand’ device, the nRF52810 SoC-powered ‘Wand Box’ hub, and an associated iOS/Android smartphone app where the user can review their unique user profile—for example levels and experience attained—as well as a spell book with over 50 spells and multiplayer duels. It is the only smart wand on the market able to recognize multiple spell gestures and connect to smart home devices for rich lighting animations and unrivalled depth of play, according to the developers. 

Our team has had extensive experience with Nordic’s components in the past so we knew we could trust and achieve the radio and power performance required for this project
Mike Goslin, New Peak Interactive

Reliable power delivery

Both the wand and the box also integrate the Nordic nPM1100 dedicated power management IC (PMIC) with a highly efficient dual-mode configurable buck regulator and integrated battery charger, ensuring reliable power delivery and stable operation whilst maximizing battery life. The nPM1100’s ‘ship mode’ disables power output until the device is unboxed by the customer, enabling the developers to create a magical unboxing experience where the wand comes to life.

The Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand integrates touch sensors and a motion sensor to help the wand determine which spell the user wants to cast. Using Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity provided by Nordic's nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC, the sensor data is relayed from the wand to a user’s smartphone. Through the app the user can then create a multimedia, multisensory spell casting experience by controlling Bluetooth enabled stereo/speakers, compatible smart home lighting, and even compatible smart TVs. 

Ultra low power

The solution uses Li-ion and Li-Poly batteries in the wand and box respectively to achieve battery life of up to four hours of moderate usage between recharge—or multiple days in low power mode when the LEDs are inactive—thanks in part to the ultra low power characteristics of the Nordic SoCs, and the integration of the nPM1100 PMIC. 

“The Wafer Level Chip Scale Package (WL-CSP) version of the nRF52832 SoC with M4 processor combined with our proprietary RF layout provided the necessary processing power, memory allocation and PCB footprint to create the desired system functionality within the ultra compact space required to stay true to prop replica dimensions,” says Mike Goslin, CEO New Peak Interactive. 

“Our team has had extensive experience with Nordic’s components in the past so we knew we could trust and achieve the radio and power performance required for this project.”