Archive for December, 2009

Wandmaker Richard Blakesley commented on forum users that are having problems getting the wand to work.

Hello.

Sorry for the trouble you’ve been having – it sounds most likely that you haven’t quite got the hang of the gestures yet. In case you haven’t seen them already, we’ve put some short video clips of each gesture on our website to help show you how to perform the gestures – see http://www.thewandcompany.com/Manual.html and click on the typewriter-style buttons. Also, a few hints that might help:

  • If you’re having trouble, stop and hold the wand steady and horizontal for a couple of seconds before trying again.
  • Waving the wand more vigorously doesn’t tend to work well – short, positive movements are best.
  • For the rotation gestures, you need to rotate the wand very slowly and smoothly one quarter-turn, keeping the tip steady. Once you’ve gone just over a quarter-turn, the wand will register the rotation and go into fine-resolution rotation mode, where it will register an event every 15 degrees – this allows you to control the volume with only small movements of your wrist.

There are a few videos on YouTube that might be helpful too:

Once you get the hang of it, you should find that the gestures are quite straightforward to perform, but it is like an instrument requiring dexterity, it takes a bit of practice to get used to it. If you’ve already learned some IR codes onto the wand, then it would be a good idea to do a factory reset to put in back into full practice mode, as Michael suggested :

  • Put the wand into learning mode (point upwards and double tap)
  • Do any gesture to make it start the rapid pulsing
  • Instead of sending it some IR from a regular remote, do the “big swish” gesture while the rapid pulsing is going on
  • The wand will do a few fast strong pulses to acknowledge the erase request, then the same again shortly afterwards to confirm that erase is complete.
  • Take the wand out of learning mode (point downwards and tap)
  • The wand will now be back to its factory-default state, in full “practice mode” for every gesture.

I hope that helps, but do let us know if you’re still having any problems.

Cheers,

Richard

_________________
Richard Blakesley
The Wand Company Ltd

Wandmaker Richard Blakesley commented on Virgin Cable Remote problems of a forum user:

There are a few different types of Virgin Media remote controls, and some of them use alternating infra-red (IR) codes which are different with each button press – these are sometimes known as “toggle codes”, and are intended to avoid multiple commands being executed accidentally if the IR beam is broken during transmission (by the cat or your wife walking between the remote control and the Virgin box).

So, the first time you press the “channel up” button (for example, though this also applies to most of the buttons), it will send one IR code (let’s call it “code A”, which will repeat for as long as you hold the button down), but the next time you press the same button, it will send a second IR code (B). On the third press, you’ll be back to the first code A again, and so on. The Virgin box will action a channel change when it sees code A, but it won’t change the channel again if another code A is received consecutively, but is instead waiting to receive code B before it’ll change channel in the same direction.

The wand can only learn the IR code it sees when the button is pressed once during learning mode, which will be either code A or code B. So, repeated gestures will send the same IR code each time, and that causes the problem you’re experiencing.

Fortunately, there is a work-around:

  • Whilst the set-top box is expecting to see A,B,A,B for repeated channel up (and, say, C,D,C,D for channel down), putting any other IR code in between the repeated A’s will also work OK (e.g. A,X,A,X for two channel up changes, or C,X,C,X for two channel down changes).
  • An undocumented feature of the wand is that you can actually learn more than one remote control button onto each gesture (as a kind of macro) if you press two buttons in quick succession whilst the wand is doing the fast pulsing during learning mode.
  • Therefore if you first press the button that you want to use (e.g. channel up) and then quickly press another button which has no effect (e.g. the yellow button on the Virgin remote does nothing most of the time), then the wand will learn two IR codes (e.g A,X) onto that gesture.

Now when you perform repeated gestures for channel up (e.g. flick upwards), the Virgin box will receive code A (to change the channel up), then code X (which will do nothing but make it forget that it had just received code A), then the next code A (on the next flick upwards) should cause the channel to change again as expected. We’ve tested the wand with two different Virgin boxes – on the first one it didn’t use these “toggle” codes so there was no issue, but for the second box we had to do this workaround, then everything worked fine. It might take you a couple of attempts to get the timing right for learning the “macro” of two buttons onto each gesture, but it’s not too difficult once you get the hang of it.

Sorry for such a long-winded explanation – I hope it all makes sense, but please let us know if not.

Cheers,

Richard

_________________
Richard Blakesley
The Wand Company Ltd

The forum user Grymmditch contributed these great posts on Sat Dec 26, 2009:

Harry Potteresque commands – latin

Has anyone else worked on some basic IR Remote/consumer electronics device command based latin spell incantations, so you can totally geek out ala Harry Potter while using your wand?
I’ve worked out about 15 so far, some were easy, some were not. This was actually kind of fun. I’m not a Latin major by any stretch, and some of the command concepts (like “ON” or “OFF”) don’t easily translate to a culture that ceased to exist roughly 1600 years ago, long before the advent of electronics.

Here’s my list so far though, feel free to add or recommend others!
(A good many of these should be fairly obvious as to their modern meaning or correlation, and some, like Vol Up/Down were lifted directly from Harry Potter)

On – Vivo or Possum (pronounced “Poss’-oom”)
Off – Dormito or Quiesco
Volume Up – Sonorus
Volume Down – Quietus
Channel Up – Ascendo or Supero
Channel Down – Descendo or Cado
Mute – Mutus or Sileo
Menu – Tabula or Codex
Play – Specto
Pause – Suspendo
Stop – Cesso or Finis
Record – Scribo
Rewind – Reciproco or Verto
Fast Forward – Rapio
Slow Search – Serpo

(special thanks to the latinlexicon.org site for most of these)

and the second post:

Laser tag, Kymera style

Here’s a thought – IR based tag systems, where kids armed with Kymera wands can duke it out wizard style.

They’d wear a special receiver plate on their chest and back, just as in laser tag, and the various gestures would register as sundry hexes/jinxes/curses- Avada Kedavra, Stupefy, Expelliarmus, Rictusempra, Tarantallegra, Petrificus, Sectum-Sempra, etc..

Have you guys talked at all with Warner Bros? I’m sure they’d go for this, (and other ideas) as official Harry Potter licensed merchandise. Otherwise, you’d probably have to rename the curses to something more generic.

_________________
Accio Kymera!

Grymmditch

Thanks alot for those great posts

Michael

26
Dec

Resetting the Wand

   Posted by: admin    in Instruction

As several wand owners asked about it and I published the information as a sidenote in a blog post some time ago, it is here more prominently.

I also added it to the online manual.

Resetting the wand

  1. go into learning mode (double tap while pointing upwards)
  2. do any gesture
  3. when the quick pulses start
  4. do a big swish
  5. there should be a big pulse as confirmation
  6. done, all programmed codes gone

Merry Christmas and Lots of fun with your Kymera Wand

Michael

To celebrate the closing of an great year, we’d like to give ONE Kymera Wand to our readers for

FREE!

As we want to learn what you‘re thinking about the Kymera Wand,
all you have to do is to make a sensible comment on this post with one of the following topics:

  • creative application of the Kymera Wand (e.g. control iRobot Roomba)
  • missing or completely new features for a wish list for the Kymera Wand
  • interesting accessories
  • improvements to this site
  • suggestions for coverage, pictures, videos

Please make sure that you don’t repeat things people have already posted, those duplications will not be considered.

The drawing will take place on the last day of the year, December 31st.

Good luck to all of you.

Magical Christmas and a Fantastic New Year to all of YOU

Michael

P.S. Please retweet.

A Kymera Wand Box Contents

A Kymera Wand Box Contents

Besides other items presented during this Thrillist introduction at w9usa, the Kymera Wand got some coverage.

About Thrillist:

Thrillist: The Daily Candy For Men

If you’re still stumped about what to get your husband, brother or boyfriend this holiday…listen up. There’s a virutal place that helps to uncover the coolest gifts and gadgets for guys. And no matter their profession or pasttime… you’re bound to find something different and unique.

About the Kymera Wand:

Your significant other can get his Harry Potter magic on with the flick of a universal remote wand.


“It kind of works like an Nintendo Wii. You wave it around and program it to different motions that work to function different appliances,” says Joseph.

Fast Forward to 01:10.

17
Dec

Christmas Price Offer will End on Christmas

   Posted by: admin    in Buying, News

After Christmas (Dec.25), we’ll end our
Christmas Price of 57,75 EUR
with free worldwide shipping

and return to the normal sales price of

66,66 EUR

with free worldwide shipping.

So you’ve still got some days left to get your Kymera Wand at a bargain price.

15
Dec

Kymera Tweets Interlude

   Posted by: admin    in Excitement, Twitter

  • eliram: Just added the The Wand Company Kymera Magic Wand to my want list on @gdgt! http://bit.ly/5DF2Zu
  • ToatsMcGBlog: @palomagrace you know first thing you’re buying is the Kymera wand!!!
  • TheNerdyBird: Early birthday present. I now own the remote comtrol Kymera wand. :)
  • SweetSoaps: I got my husband coolest gift. It us a Kymera magic wand, turns off tv/stereo like Harry potter style #kidatheart
  • dappjuice: For the Harry Potter Fan: Kymera Magic Wand Universal Remote: Definitely on my wishlist: This universal remote is… http://bit.ly/4zKMjr

Carl and Pete had wand waving fun in their show #46, controlling the TV in the recording room.

The transcript with some pictures is available as is the podcast itself.

Carl:

I always thought you were a geek – what with the glasses and the bow tie, you all right, Harry? Have you ever seen that picture of Pete on the website – he does look like Harry Potter! You’re such a geek! But this is great, I like the toy.

Carl:

Can you get this to control your wife? – when you thrust it forward, and you get her to go “ouch!” I don’t know, I’m sure someone out there has got a wife that needs controlling.

Carl:

I think this is phenomenal, but I actually see another application with this, because you know like some people, it’s like I remember my gran getting old, and she used to have trouble with her remote, pointing it in the right direction, but this would be brilliant – she was good at waving sticks at people, hitting you over the head with a walking stick, and all that stuff.

14
Dec

Kymera Wand at ThinkGeek

   Posted by: admin    in Buying, Excitement, Video

It’s great that the Geek Suppliers like ThinkGeek and GetDigital are filling their stocks with magic wands and help to release the magic to the masses.

ThinkGeek did a funny video and introduction of the Kymera.

Tame the Beast of HD Pictures with this magic device!

You know you have always wanted to be a wizard. But not one of those swish and flick wizards from the movies. You want to be the Dungeons & Dragons wizard – the party’s controller. See that word there? CONTROLLER. It means you control the battlefield; you control everything! Sure, you’re squishy and sometimes there’s collateral damage when you let out a blast, but it’s all in a day’s work. As a wizard, you have a choice in implements, but everyone knows The Wand is the ultimate when you want to be an elite controller.

Teach it

Our Wand may not make legions of kobold minions explode into flames, but it will learn up to 13 commands from your existing remote controls and map them to particular magical motions. Flick the wand from side to side to flip the channels, twist the wand to turn up the volume. A beam of light will shoot out the unicorn tail hair and magic will happen! The Wand can learn from any remotes in your house and once you master its 13 movements, you can mastermind a symphony of electronic enjoyment from the comfort of your couch. Then, and only then, are you an epic level controller.