As the wand is to any well-trained wizard, technology is to the muggle, that is to say, a means of accomplishing feats without which one’s quality of life would be greatly diminished. In their ceaseless attempts to rise above the mundane nature of their magic-less lives, the muggle world has recently witnessed several inventions and breakthroughs that are ineffective, expensive, and shallow attempts at accomplishing magical feats. This article highlights some of these perplexing inventions, as well as the magical feats they are imitating.
House Elves and Smart Homes
In their efforts to ignore the unexplainable, most muggles take boring jobs requiring them to work dreadful hours. The salaries from these long hours feed their foolish compulsion to spend more on technology. The amount of time muggles spend away from their homes is ever-growing, as they run like rats on cages chasing the next major innovation in consumer electronics. In an ironic twist, muggles use some of the technology they purchase in their misguided pursuit of happiness to ensure the home, where they rarely spend any of their time, runs smoothly while they are away. For wizarding kind, the employment of a house-elf is a simple method of completing many of the tasks the muggles are now accomplishing with amalgamations of metal and plastic. For those unfamiliar, house-elves are live-in servants who complete tasks their masters give to them. The one drawback of employing a house-elf being, the fidelity with which they perform their tasks depends on their relationship with their master. With house-elves not being an option for them, muggles have taken to integrating wireless technology into every fixture of their homes, a process which they claim creates a ‘smart’ home. The so-called ‘smart’ devises that make up a ‘smart’ home have exploded onto the scene in the last decade and now allow muggles to use their voice or apps on their smartphone to vacuum and/or mop their floors, control the temperature of their home, turn off and on lights, keep an eye on things around the house, lock doors, wash their clothes, water the lawn, and even prepare food. Although less prone to find loopholes in the tasks given to them, the muggle’s smart home technologies are limited by their cost and privacy concerns.
Broomsticks and Jet Packs
We can all agree that modern broomstick travel is the best way to get from point A to point B. We can enjoy the quality of broomstick travel we know today thanks to hundreds of years of innovation and advancements in charms. Not satisfied with overland travel by their one worthwhile invention, the muggle world is just beginning to try its hand at personal air travel. Although members of the muggle world have had the misguided idea of using energetic reactions for personal flight since the sixties, it’s only been since the end of the last decade that they have begun to work on making a ‘functional’ apparatus to allow them to fly. The withered fruits of their labor are perhaps the greatest novelty the muggle world has yet produced. So far the commercially available models, called ‘Jet Packs,’ make muggles wearing them look as silly as their kind has long claimed the ornate robes of wizardkind make us look. One of the best examples of this technology comes from the company Selfridges. They produced nine Daedalus ‘jetpacks’, which we maintain doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well as the Nimbus 2000, for sale at the cost of nearly half a million dollars. The Daedalus is capable of flying for up to four minutes at a time and lifting a person 12,000 feet off the ground. The limitation of even the top of the line models proves that for muggles, even the ‘magical’ is altogether trivial in comparison to real magic. Though arguably still just another muggle novelty, with many companies well respected in the muggle world expressing interest in the concept, who knows if we may one day soon have to keep a lookout for air-born muggles.