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Dragons' Den panel in record £900,000 bidding war for the 'Magic Wand' they think could replace your remote control



By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 5:05 PM on 24th August 2010




A pair of British inventors were celebrating today after receiving the largest ever offer from a single Dragon for their hit gadget - a magic wand.

Entrepreneurs Chris Barnardo and Richard Blakesley accepted a £200,000 offer from tough-talking Duncan Bannatyne for their Kymera Wand on the hit BBC Two show Dragons' Den.

The device resembles a traditional Harry Potter-style wand but is in fact a buttonless universal remote control that can command any infra-red device with a flick of the wrist.

Most TV viewers might not be aware of the need for such a highly sophisticated device to replace their remote control - but users will be able to change channel, volume or pause a DVD by using one of 13 different gestures which wave the 14in device.


article-1305699-075072BD000005DC-927_468x712.jpg Chris Barnardo with his new invention the Kymera Wand, which earned record offers on last night's episode of Dragons' Den




Father-of-four Chris, 47, today revealed that he was 'terrified' when all five Dragons offered to invest.

The Dragons offered a combined total of £900,000 but Chris and Richard, from Bishop's Stortford, accepted £200,000 from Bannatyne - the largest deal made by one Dragon in 57 episodes.

He said: 'It was hugely exciting to be on the show. We planned our pitch very carefully and looked at the presentations of hundreds of previous entrants.

'We expected that we would be questioned strongly so we prepared our answers. When they all put their money in it was a real thrill.

article-1305699-0AE5EBC9000005DC-132_468x314.jpg Chris Barnardo, left, and Richard Blakesley pitching on BBC Two's Dragons' Den






'The whole thing was knee-wobblingly scary and I'm not ashamed to admit that I was very nervous. It was terrifying when £900,000 was on the table.

'We are looking forward very much to working with Duncan because of his vast business experience.'

Richard added: 'I didn't expect all five to like the product and I thought we would have some of them saying "fine but it's not my cup of tea".

'They were all pretty good offers so we just picked one.'








Magic: The wand created by Chris Barnardo, above right, resembles the one used by Daniel Radcliffe in the Harry Potter films



Chris and Richard appeared on Monday night's episode to offer the Dragons a ten per cent share in their Kymera Wand business.




  • The wand is a universal remote control which can record a maximum of 13 gestures to be used for controlling functions
  • Different gestures must be used for each function to avoid more than one device being activated at the same time.
  • It works by copying the infra-red signal - a pattern of light that sends simple instructions to receiver units on electrical items
  • To put the wand into 'save' mode, it should be held with the tip facing upwards and tapped twice with a finger. It then vibrates to confirm it is ready to 'learn' a new gesture.
  • After performing the preferred gesture the wand vibrates again to confirm the gesture has been logged.
  • Whichever button on the manufacturer's remote control the user wants to copy should then be pressed while pointing it at the tip of the wand.
  • Point the wand downwards and tap once with a finger to save the new command.



The Dragons offered a combined total of £900,000 for the product with offers of £200,000 from Bannatyne, Peter Jones, Theo Paphitis and James Caan, and £100,000 from Deborah Meaden.

But Chris and Richard opted to sell 20 per cent of their business to Bannatyne for £200,000, which reduces to ten per cent if they make £1.2 million profit in their first year.

The landmark deal marks the largest amount ever invested by a single Dragon since the show began in 2005.

Bannatyne thanked Chris and Richard for accepting his offer and admitted it 'feels sweet' to be picked ahead of his four rivals.

He said: 'It feels good when all five Dragons make an offer because it backs up the fact that everybody believes in it and can see something in it.

'When they actually decide that they are going to accept my offer that makes it even better. It's nice and sweet to get one up on the rest of them.

'I see the magic wand rolling out very quickly over the next six months and I think it will do very, very well.'

The £49.95 Kymera Wand can be used as a remote for televisions, hifis, DVD players, laptops and even remote-controlled light switches and curtains.

It uses movement control technology similar to the Nintendo Wii, and can 'learn' up to 13 infra-red codes from existing remotes and assign each command a gesture.

Owners will be able to turn up the volume by rotating the wand or change channel with a flick of the wrist.



article-1305699-088D591A000005DC-550_468x390.jpg Dragons (left to right) James Caan, the winner Duncan Bannatyne, Theo Paphitis, Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones who between them put £900,000 on the table



article-1305699-0AE6B43D000005DC-174_233x382.jpg The wand uses movement control technology similar to the Nintendo Wii controller seen here



Different moves can also be assigned to different gadgets, so the same wand can control a variety of devices.

The wand runs on two AAA batteries and enters a low-power 'sleep mode' after 60 seconds on inactivity.

It uses a three-axis accelerometer to detect movement, similar to technology in mobile phones where a picture turns to remain upright when the phone is rotated.

A tiny piece of silicon the size of a grain of sugar detects which way up the wand is and interprets its movements.

Chris and Richard have already sold more than 20,000 Kymera Wands since the launch in September last year and it is now on sale in 41 countries.

They expect to turn over £2million in the next year with the help of Duncan Bannatyne.

A BBC spokeswoman today confirmed the deal is the largest on record for the programme and wished Chris and Richard the best of luck working with the Dragon.

However, the invention is unlikely to solve the age-old problem of all remote control devices namely falling behind the sofa and running out of battery power


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1305699/Dragons-Den-panel-offer-stunned-inventors-900-000-Magic-Wand-remote-control.html#ixzz0xYJWYt00

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