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Who wouldn’t like to live in the world of Harry Potter, surrounded by the glories of magic? But as Arthur C. Clarke wrote, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Slowly but surely, science is catching up to the wonders you read about in the wonderful books written by J. K. Rowling.

Some of the magical doodads described in the Harry Potter universe have already come true, perhaps without you even realizing, while others are on the brink of becoming reality. We dived into the list of magical objects in the Potter books to see how close technologists are to bringing this whole world to life.

The Marauder’s Map

The Marauder’s Map is a magical map that shows every inch of Hogwarts School, along with the location of where every person is on campus. It’s a massive system to keep track of anyone, anywhere.

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In the real world, someone actually made a Marauder’s Map! It’s a Chrome extension that shows the location of all your friends on Facebook Messenger. In fact, not just your friends, but anyone with whom you’re in a one-on-one or group chat. Yes, you may be sharing your location on Facebook without knowing it Are You Sharing Your Location On Facebook Without Knowing? [Weekly Facebook Tips] Are You Sharing Your Location On Facebook Without Knowing? [Weekly Facebook Tips] Have you been giving your stalkers your address inadvertently? You might accidentally be giving all of your Facebook friends the exact location of your house, your office and where your kids go to school. Read More .

It’s not just Facebook though. Your smartphone, which is always with you, is sharing your location with several apps that you might not even be aware of.

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Right now though, things haven’t become so bad that any random citizen can just bring up a map that shows the location of every other person in the world. A more practical implementation of the Marauder’s Map is in the form of something like the Weasley Clock.

Weasley Clock

While you wouldn’t want to make your current location public knowledge, it can be useful when used with the right people. For instance, tracking your family isn’t necessarily evil Why Tracking Your Significant Other's Location Isn't Always Evil Why Tracking Your Significant Other's Location Isn't Always Evil But is it really so wrong to track your partner's movements, assuming it's consensual? Read More . The Weasley Clock does just that. The clock has nine hands, one for each family member, pointing to their current location, such as “Home”, “Work”, etc.

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Smartphones again double up as child tracking tools for concerned parents What Are The Best Child Tracking Tools? What Are The Best Child Tracking Tools? Every parent worries about their children's safety. Whether its the nervousness when your young one is home late from school, or the fear that your teenage driver isn't actually going where they say they are;... Read More , with plenty of apps that can serve every purpose and offering different levels of privacy for the kid. Even built-in tools like Apple’s Find My iPhone How To Use Find My iPhone To Get Your Stolen iPhone Back How To Use Find My iPhone To Get Your Stolen iPhone Back Long story short: my wife had her iPhone stolen when she misplaced it at work the other day. I was able to log into her iCloud account and eventually get the device back. Read More can double up to track a person.

The Weasleys have some of the coolest magical gadgets in the Potter world, including a flying car!

Flying Ford Anglia

Arthur Weasley, the head of the Weasley family, cast an enchantment on an old Ford Anglia to turn it into a flying car. It moves and drives just like a car, but well, to (almost) quote the immortal words of Doc Brown from Back To The Future, where it’s going, it don’t need roads.

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As we noted in our ultimate guide to Back To The Future gadgets, two companies are already working hard on flying cars. The Terrafugia Transition is already functional but not on roads (or skies) yet because of various laws, while the AeroMobil 3.0 is ready to soar into our lives in 2017.

The Flying Ford Anglia has another neat feature: it can become invisible!

Invisibility Cloak

Who wouldn’t like the ability to become completely invisible to the naked eye? Harry Potter is gifted a magical invisibility cloak, which he uses on several occasions. Given how useful such a device would be, scientists are working hard on it and are closer than ever before.

The most famous demonstration of this technology was at TEDx, when engineer Baille Zhang showed the world’s first 3D invisibility cloak. Most scientists working on this idea are playing with the concept of bending light. Light bouncing off an object is what helps you “see” a 3D object. So these cloaks are trying to bend the light in a way where instead of bouncing back to you, it flattens.

Even though we’re getting close, we’re several years away from seeing it in our households. Invisibility cloaks would first make it into the defense industry, after which we might see their commercial use.

Omnioculars

One of the coolest but underrated gizmos in the Potter universe, the omnioculars are advanced binoculars. Imagine this: when you’re watching any sport live, you’ll not only be able to magnify your vision, you’ll also be able to zoom in on any particular player and track them automatically; watch replays (including slow-motion) of the action; and receive on-screen prompts informing you about the game.

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In a nutshell, imagine going to a football game and getting the full TV experience of player tracking and replays right in the stadium. Sony is already making something similar to this, a pair of digital video-recording binoculars colloquially called “Vinoculars”.

Vinoculars can instantly replay anything you have just seen. But that’s where it ends. The other features, like on-screen prompts and automatic tracking, aren’t on the cards. Yet.

In a way, you could take the Vinoculars and add augmented reality like with Google Glass Google Glass Review and Giveaway Google Glass Review and Giveaway We were lucky enough to get a pair of Google Glass to review, and we're giving it away! Read More to provide those details. Going forward, we might even see LED contact lenses Will LED Contact Lenses Make Google Glass Obsolete? Will LED Contact Lenses Make Google Glass Obsolete? A contact lens which displays information feels like something from science fiction, conjuring up images of the Terminator and Bionic Woman. This technology, perhaps Google Glass' successor, is just around the corner. Read More replacing all of this.

Pensieve

The Pensieve is one of the coolest devices in the Potter universe, which has been partially created in our digital world. The Pensieve is a memory storebox, accessible to anyone, with the ability to completely immerse a person as they experience those memories.

In a way, Facebook’s On This Day feature How to Block People or Dates in Facebook's "On This Day" Memories How to Block People or Dates in Facebook's "On This Day" Memories Facebook's new "On This Day" feature automatically prompts you to look back at past events on any particular date – including painful memories. Read More does that automatically, chronicling some of your memories which you can retrieve later. There’s also the practice of lifelogging What Is Lifelogging And Why Should You Do It? What Is Lifelogging And Why Should You Do It? Between Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and more, we already document and share quite a lot about our daily lives, without really thinking about it. They are lifelogs of sorts, but without any sort of structure... Read More , which you can narrow down to just photos and videos of your memories The Days Of Our Life: How To Lifelog Online With Photos And Videos The Days Of Our Life: How To Lifelog Online With Photos And Videos Photos or videos are the ideal way to document specific moments in your day, and there are several apps and sites that cater to that exact need. At the end of a year of documentation,... Read More .

Of course, this is just a fraction of the Pensieve experience, since you can’t actually live out these digital memories, only look at them. But actually living someone else’s memories wouldn’t be possible, since technology only captures visual or auditory data, not thoughts, emotions, and the other things that make up our memories.

Two-Way Mirrors

Harry and Sirius Black use a two-way mirror to communicate with each other. One person holds the mirror and says the name of the other person, after which the two of them can see each other and communicate. Hello, free video chat on any smartphone platform Best Smartphone Apps for Free Cross-Platform Video Calls Best Smartphone Apps for Free Cross-Platform Video Calls It doesn't matter your platform -- from Mac to PC to Android and everything in between -- one of these apps will let you make video calls. Read More !

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Smartphones will undoubtedly be more useful, since the same “mirror” connects to any other “mirror” in the world. But there’s one catch: you need a data plan or network coverage of some sort, which the two-way mirror isn’t dependent on.

Moving Photographs

In the Potter universe, photographs aren’t still images, they usually move around within the frame, and sometimes even talk. While a conversational photo isn’t going to happen any time soon, we have made some strides towards moving photos.

The latest iPhone has introduced Live Photos Live Photos & 4K: Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 16GB iPhone 6s Live Photos & 4K: Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 16GB iPhone 6s If you want to take advantage of the new iPhone 6s camera, you'll probably want to avoid picking the 16GB storage option. Read More , which is somewhere between a photo and a video. And of course, for the longest time, we have had GIFs, the language of the Internet GIFs, The Language Of The Web: Their History, Culture, and Future GIFs, The Language Of The Web: Their History, Culture, and Future Read More .

Quick Quotes Quill

The world of magic and wizardry hasn’t embraced the digital age at all and insists on using quills to write things by hand. Let’s not get into the debate about whether handwriting should be taught in schools Hate Handwriting? Me Too. Here's Why We Should Teach It Anyway. Hate Handwriting? Me Too. Here's Why We Should Teach It Anyway. We need to give young people the chance to love handwriting as an art, instead of making them hate it as a chore. Read More or if cursive writing is obsolete Cursive Writing Is Obsolete; Schools Should Teach Programming Instead [Opinion] Cursive Writing Is Obsolete; Schools Should Teach Programming Instead [Opinion] Cursive writing is an anachronism. Spending any classroom time on it is a waste because as a day-to-day skill, it is not at all practical in the modern, connected world. Read More . The larger point is that in the Potter universe, these handwriting tools have many of the benefits that technology gives us.

For example, there’s the Quick Quotes Quill, a magical pen that captures whatever someone is dictating and writes it down. It’s basically voice-to-text technology, and as we’ve already seen, you can even write a full article with dictation Can You Write A Whole Article Using Voice Dictation on the Mac? Well I Just Did (And This Is It) Can You Write A Whole Article Using Voice Dictation on the Mac? Well I Just Did (And This Is It) What you're reading right now is an example of Apple's dictation and speech program in action. It may be useful for short passages, but can you write a whole article with it? Read More now.

Similarly, there’s a Spell-Checking Quill. Spellcheck in Office is nothing new 8 Ways To Spell & Grammar Check In Microsoft Word Using Different Dictionaries & Languages 8 Ways To Spell & Grammar Check In Microsoft Word Using Different Dictionaries & Languages Microsoft Word's built-in spelling and grammar checking tools can be customized to meet your needs. You can even use AutoCorrect to speed up your typing. Read More , and it’s even on our phones now in the form of autocorrect.

Which Magic Do You Want to be Real?

That concludes our list of magical gadgets you could soon own. So, Potter fans, let’s hear it… which of the various magic spells or enchantments from the Harry Potter universe do you want to be real?

Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section below. Bonus points if you can describe how technology can make it happen!

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