Archive for January, 2010

25
Jan

MasterJan’s Contribution

   Posted by: admin    in Excitement, User

A danish fan named MasterJan was very interested in buying a wand but couldn’t decide to do so. So only after the ten percent January offer for people that attended the December giveaway he did so.

In the meantime he published a review of his own:

The pictures on the internet might show how the wand looks, but nothing can tell you how it truly is to hold and look at, before you hold it yourself! Honestly, I actually thought the plastic would be a bit… cheap. But it isn’t! It isn’t wood, but I think it’s nearly as good.


I quickly learned it a signal, and I made a big smile the first time when I turned our TV on. It didn’t just control the TV, it also gave me a feeling of… real magic, as if I was holding a real wand in my hand.

He also translated the danish blog post by David Guldager:

A review by TV2 beep:

This is how a real wand works

It’s not just bearded men with tall pointy hats, who are allowed to swing with wands. You have the opportunity youself, and we’ve tried the most strange gadget we’ve ever seen.

There are products you really can’t see the idea beind, and then gadgets that are so strange and different, that you would never imagine they would be for sale.

For two weeks ago, we wrote about a very real wand, called Kymera, and to be honest, I though it was a joke, but when a Danish contact person wrote to us, to hear if we wanted to test the wand, we wouldn’t say no.

Many have been running around as little with a stick, trying to make bushes to enemies or make mess in a room disappear. But yet, those “magic wands” haven’t quite worked for me.

Considerable skepticism

Therefore, my skepticism was indeed more than apparent, when I received the wand in a black oblong box. But when I saw the wand Kymera down in the box presented in red, I had to give me a bit.

Suddenly I was aware of the magic moments.

I don’t know what I had expected, but wands today still can’t make the mess disappear, make my wife into a bush or do anything else, than act as a good old-fashioned remote control. But it also does that fine.

Magic on your tv

Kymera itself is made by a company, who of course have the firm name, The Wand Company Ltd. Their somewhat different remote control can control a TV from movement, and it’s more techable than one might think.

By turning the wand vertically and tap two times on the middle, you get the opportunity to learn your wand some tricks from your remote. It’s shakes gently when it has understood, and when you’re then sitting in front of your TV, flicking your wand to shift channel, it shakes gently to confirm as well.
It works surpringly well, even though it can be a bit hard to learn the difference between the many movements your hand can perform. But if you just learn your wand tricks with widely different gestures, then you’re one step further.

Of course, this wand is also meant more as a smile, than a replacement of your remote control. It can only learn up to 13 different tricks, and the gestures can be somewhat cumbersome in length unlike what you’re used to – by pushing the button. And as one colleague pointed out, it’s much more fun to have on your table, than an ordinary remote control.

Kymera Specifications:

  • Uses 2 AAA-batteries, can learn 13 “tricks”
  • Costs about 100 dollars
  • Is out from October 1st (2009)

We LOVE: Always interesting with magic wands, pretty techable, looks more fun than a remote control.

We HATE: Can’t make things disappear, actually it can’t do magic! Only 13 gestures, it’s difficult to distinguish between the different movements.

Written by David Guldager (Original danish review here
Translated from danish to english by Jan Nikolajsen

14
Jan

Control your Mac with the Kymera Wand

   Posted by: admin    in Excitement, Instruction

A I recently learned that the wand makers also switched to an Apple, I thought that a blog post about using the Kymera wand with your Mac would be appropriate.

As most of you know all Macs come with an IR port that can be controlled with the Apple Remote. And as this is just another remote control you can teach your Kymera Wand the codes quite easily.


That is enough to control the basic functions of your Mac with the Kymera Wand. Using the wand you have FrontRow, DVD-Player, Keynote, iTunes and volumne control at your command.

I show some of this in the youtube video I made on the first evening after I received my wand.

There have been some issues with the IR support on the new Mac Book Pros running Snow Leopard but I’ll come to this later.

To make the most of your ability to charm your Mac it is useful to get a fine grained control over what happens at each of the remote codes that is received.

To do this you can use an application like Mira or RemoteBuddy that allows to select for each application a different set of behaviors on the reception of the 6 IR signals. E.g. navigating your web browser, reading your Preview files or controlling VLC or whatever you’d like to do.

They also allow to change the global effects of remote codes and offer specialized menus for easy application switching and much more.

Here is a screenshot of Mira’s control panel

And here one of RemoteBuddy’s Control Center


As I had some issues with the Snow Leopard running on my MBP the guys from TwistedMelon pointed me to the free CandelAIR IR-driver from iospirit (RemoteBuddy) that replaces the Apple one and runs more stable and also just works.


Controlling Keynote with your Kymera Wand is especially tempting as you can show off with your wand at the event your presenting at. I did so at the JAOO software development conference in Aarhus, Denmark.

If your feeling like it you can also do your homegrown solution using AppleScript to decode and send the events you’d like to anywhere in the system. Andreas Rothaug did just that and documented and filmed his solution on his blog.

Apple ‘Magic Wand’ Remote System – homebuilt from kame anderson on Vimeo.

The code looks something like this (full script at his site):

on kymera(gesture)
--say gesture
if gesture is "swing" then
tvpower()
end if
if gesture is "up" then
tell application "System Events"
key code 53
end tell
end if

5
Jan

Neue Deutsche Seite zum Kymera Wand

   Posted by: admin    in Excitement, Press, deutsch

Arno Oesterheld ist ein stolzer und begeisterter Besitzer eines Kymera Wand, seine Erfahrungen, Tipps und Tricks, Fotos und vieles mehr postet er auf seiner Seite: zauberstab-fernbedienung.de.

Hier ein paar Zitate:

Die Fantastische Universalfernbedienung

Manche Dinge muss ich einfach haben. Und der Zauberstab von Kymera gehört definitiv in diese Kategorie!

Tipps und Tricks

Leider kommt der Zauberstab derzeit nur mit einer (wunderschönen) englischen Bedienungsanleitung. Auf der Website des Herstellers gibt es auch einige Hinweise in deutsch. Da nicht alles ganz praxisnah beschrieben ist, hier noch eine weitere Anleitung für Deine Zauberstab-Fernbedienung aus meinen persönlichen Erfahrung.

Videos und Bilder

Der Zauberstab kommt in einer edlen Verpackung – außen Schwarz mit “Schlangenhaut” – innen mit edlem, roten Stoff ausgeschlagen und mit Goldverzierungen. Die Anleitung ist ebenfalls sehr aufwändig gestaltet und großformatig zum auseinanderfalten.

Es gibt Verweise auf Händler und auf zukünftiges Zubehör.

Sehr schön gemachte Seite, mit viel Liebe zum Details und wichtigen Informationen.
Ich hoffe, Arno behält die Begeisterung und findet die Zeit, die Seite weiter auszubauen.

On the Topic of How to Program your Kymera Wand, forum user Gautam/omarahum did a nice printout sheet.

Had some free time, so decided I would try and figure out what functions I really needed to program into the wand and which I could leave out. It took a lot of tries to figure what wand gesture I should pair with what function so I made a little Jpg that lists all the gestures so I could print it out and keep the pairings straight. Thought it might be useful to others too so I decided to post it. Listed are the wand gestures, and next to it in parentheses is the number of pulses that correlates to the gesture, and space to write down what you’ve programmed.

Happy Casting!

Gautam

Thanks a lot

Michael

1
Jan

January Twitter Giveaway Promotion

   Posted by: admin    in Excitement, Giveaway, Twitter

Happy New Year to all of you.

We’ll start a new giveaway promotion in January, this time on twitter.

twittering bird

Please either retweet my initial tweet or do a tweet of your own.

The condition this time is to include the tag #kymera and a reference to this site http://kymera-wand.com that is not shortened. To be eligible you also MUST include a sensible incantation that can be used to perform magic with the Kymera Wand. For instance "Quietus" for muting.

Forum User Grymmditch did a great job listing some unique incantations in this post that we thankfully published in this blog entry.

Wishing you all much luck in this drawing. It ends January 31st.

Please Retweet.

Happy Casting

Michael

1
Jan

Giveaway Promotion Winner is: Austin

   Posted by: admin    in Excitement, Giveaway, News

Happy New Year to All of You!

thanks for all the great comments and your participation. Especially Alex, Paul Higginbotham and Yetórico for their really impressive comments. I’ll do a roundup post these days of all the ideas you’ve written down.

Unfortunately there can be only one winner.

The winner of our December Giveaway promotion was selected with a swift flick of the Kymera Wand and it selected:

Austin

Congratulations to you. Please send us your postal address and your wand will leave ASAP. Hopefully you’ll have much fun with it. Please report back on your experience.

Michael

I’ve just decided as a new years gift, that whoever commented on the post and orders a wand within January with the email address used for the comment gets a 10% discount on the retail price of the Kymera Wand. Please note that you’re eligible for the discount in your order form.

If you didn’t win, just enter our new January drawing which is about twittering adequate incantations.