The Wand Company - Cambridge
The Wand Company

Phasers set to stun

Twenty-third century phaser meets twenty-first century laser as Hexagon Metrology measuring equipment helps inventive consumer electronics company blur the lines between science fiction and science fact.

In 2010, a small start-up company created a moment of magic on British television screens by showcasing their product on the popular BBC series Dragons’ Den. The programme invites budding entrepreneurs to pitch ideas to five potential investors, known as the ‘dragons’, to secure financial and strategic support for the development of their business. When The Wand Company entered the den, no-one was expecting what happened next.

The dragons – along with the audience at home – watched spellbound as company directors Richard Blakesley and Chris Barnardo demonstrated their unique product: a magic wand remote control with the ability to operate standard electronic devices with a few small movements.

Using a universal learning remote control chip, the device could be trained to give the illusion of a functioning magic wand. The novelty of the product certainly impressed the investors, with all five making offers to The Wand Company.

From fantasy to the future

Following their television appearance, The Wand Company experienced a surge of interest and with a successful product under their belts, the team went back to the drawing board in search of their next project. In 2012, the company launched a new remote control based on the ‘sonic screwdriver’ device featured in cult science fiction serial, Doctor Who. The appeal of this product hinged around the authentic appearance that proved a draw for sci-fi fans the world over, as Barnardo explains:

“For our first sonic screwdriver, the model used by the Eleventh Doctor, we simply used photographs and measurements that we found on the web to design the product. The response was positive – we had emails from customers asking if we could produce another sonic screwdriver, the one that the Tenth Doctor used. It struck us that the best way to make a really accurate replica might be to find the original prop used in the show and create a 3D scan of it – which is where metrology comes into the story.”

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