This guy wants to use tech to create a ‘wizarding pub’ in London – ANITH
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This guy wants to use tech to create a ‘wizarding pub’ in London

This guy wants to use tech to create a ‘wizarding pub’ in London

If you like 1) drinking in pubs and 2) the magical world of Harry Potter, you are most definitely in luck.

Matthew Cortland, a designer and former reading teacher, is launching a Kickstarter for a “wizarding pub and inn” in London called The Cauldron — a venue that would use technology and the internet of things to simulate sweet, sweet magic.

Cortland told Mashable he’s been a fan of books like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings since childhood. He got the idea for The Cauldron while learning to program and design mobile apps on a master’s course.

“I kept coming back to the idea of the Weasley Clock — you know, the one that displays the location of the Weasley family members instead of the time,” Cortland told Mashable. “That clock is completely possible to make with our current technology, and after designing prototypes I began wondering about what else from fantasy books is actually possible to make. What else has already been made? What could be adapted?”

Cortland explained that he began to re-read fantasy books with an eye for how science, tech, design and the internet of things could be used to make the magic real.

“I found that many magical elements already exist in some form, and with some alteration and great design, I could bring them together in an authentic and interactive experience that adult fans like me would love,” he said.

Key fob technology will be used to make magic wands in the pub.

Touch sensitive technology would then mean pint taps could be wand-activated.

Touch sensitive technology would then mean pint taps could be wand-activated.

Voice- and touch-activated wands, touch sensitive technology and magnetism will be used to make things like magic wands, refilling pints, and floating candles for the pub. There will also be moving photos, which Kickstarter backers can be featured in if they pledge a certain amount. To round things off the pub will have a fantasy book-inspired food and drink menu (“Liquid Luck” is one of the drinks in the cocktail section).

The challenge Cortland now faces is raising the fairly hefty $500,000 sum needed to make The Cauldron a reality.

“Our ability to reach our target of $500,000 now rests in the capable hands of the fandom,” he said. “It’s an ambitious sum of money, but not unheard of for Kickstarter and is the minimum that we need to make the Cauldron a reality.”

The Kickstarter funding tiers range from $25 to $9999.

The Kickstarter funding tiers range from $25 to $9999.

If the project fails to reach the $500,000 target it will receive no funding, as that’s how Kickstarter works. But Cortland seems confident about their goal. They’ve created a range of different funding options, he explained, in order to put the focus on creating something fan-directed that includes as many people as possible.

“If even a small percentage of the millions of geeks out there decide that they want this idea to happen, we will blow our goal out of the water,” he said.

“A generation of people have come of age while wishing that the magical world is real and dreaming that they can enter into it. Now as adults, we are positioned to make that dream a reality. The Cauldron will probably appeal most to adults who grew up reading about the magical world through fantasy books and movies, and who want to finally step into it with a pint of mulled mead or wizarding cocktail in hand. 

“What sets the Cauldron apart is that it is not a set that is to be looked upon and not touched,” finished Cortland. “It is a fan-led, interactive laboratory for interesting innovations that mimic the magic described in fantasy books.”

The Kickstarter launches on June 26, but you can subscribe on The Cauldron’s website for advanced access.

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Anith Gopal
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