Ahead of its worldwide release on November 18th, Google has launched a series of tech tie-ins to the highly anticipated return to J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
First, and most importantly, you can finally live the dream and control your Android phone using spells. Or the sound and light, at least:
Just say “Ok Google” followed by “Lumos” or “Nox” to turn your flashlight on and off. Try “Silencio” to silence the ringer and notifications. (Google 2016)
I’m still yelling ‘accio’ across the room, and my phone isn’t stirring from the desk - but I can only presume that that functionality is coming in a later update.
Google have also added a little bit of 1926 to Maps’ Street View - you can explore some of the locations of the world of Fantastic Beasts, including MACUSA (the American wizarding headquarters), the Steen National Bank, and The Blind Pig - a ‘witch-friendly subterranean speakeasy’ accessed through a brick wall that is not entirely what it seems. Google reviewers compliment the ambience and the ‘local, craft pumpkin juice’ - though Aleksa Milosevic comments ‘Can’t enter. Please help’. Clearly somebody didn’t know the knock. It has a 4.9 star average, so I’ll assume it’s a top night out.
There also seems to be hints at some upcoming YouTube exclusive FB promo, and if you’ve pre-ordered Google’s Daydream VR headset, an immersive virtual reality demo will be available to experience when the hardware launches this month. Certainly something to do while counting down the days!