Well, maybe not quite yet. I may have over exaggerated a little, but the possibility is certainly in the near future. Japanese inventor Jun Rekimoto has brought the Harry Potter world one step closer to reality with his recent invention of the HoverBall.
He and his colleagues at the University of Toyko have created a little plastic ball complete with a 90-millimeter-wide drone inside it. Using quadcopter technology, “this ball has an ability to stay in the air and change its location and behavior according to the sports game contexts,” says Rekimoto. He continues,, “With this technology, physical dynamics of a ball can be re-programmed by sports designers, and new ball-playing vocabularies, such as hovering, anti-gravity, proximity, or remote manipulation, can be introduced to extend the way people interact with balls.”
At the present moment, the ball has the ability to stay in the air for a total of five minutes and is remote controlled, but I (and I’m sure everyone else in the Harry Potter fandom is as well) am hoping they will figure out a way for the ball to be controlled on its own.
Below is a diagram that was included in a couple of the articles giving a general idea of how the HoverBall works.
Now, taking all this into consideration, I think it is quite plausible (and I can safely say my bias has no influence on my judgment… well, maybe a little) that flying broomsticks aren’t far behind. If they can make a ball hover, they can make a broomstick hover, and the Muggle Quidditch games will be closer to the wizard ones in no time at all! No more throwing the balls. No more running on broomsticks. Although I have to say, my favorite part of watching a Quidditch match is watching the Seeker chase the human Snitch around the field.
The possibility of an actual, flying Golden Snitch? I’ll drink a few Butterbeers to that!