The magical and muggle worlds of Harry Potter are famously divided. The Statute of Secrecy prevents wizards from disclosing the existence of the wizarding world, on a public level, to muggle society. The effects of such a statute are felt across the wizarding world too, as witches and wizards are centuries behind muggle in terms of technology. And it almost seems that witches and wizards are technophobes, with the greatest example of this being the fact that most technology does not work on the grounds of Hogwarts.
But, if the world of Harry Potter regularly used muggle technology, how would the series have been different? These are 10 modern pieces of technology that would have affected the Harry Potter story if it were set today.
10 CCTV Surveillance May Have Helped Voldemort
Throughout the Deathly Hallows books and movies, Harry Potter and the gang are on the run from the Dark Lord Voldemort. The group successfully evades the dark wizard and his Death Eaters for a surprisingly long time before they are captured by a group of snatchers.
However, would this story play out the same way in the modern-day? Modern surveillance is on a whole different level to what it was in the 1990s, meaning that Voldemort could use this muggle technology to track Harry, Ron, and Hermione pretty easily.
9 Instant Messaging
The main form of communication between witches and wizards in the world of Harry Potter is via owl. The nocturnal bird carries all communications and mail between wizards. However, while it is undoubtedly cool to send your letters and parcels via owl, it is also inefficient.
Aside from parcel delivery, which will undoubtedly be quicker than any muggle mail service, sending letters to your friends is so slow. If Harry, Ron, and Hermione had some access to an instant messaging service, they would be able to communicate far more efficiently during the summer months away from Hogwarts.
8 Wizard Internet
The internet has truly revolutionized modern society. It has introduced new industries to the world, brought people on distant continents closer together, and allowed for a fantastic new way of consuming media such as movies and TV. It’s clear from the Harry Potter series that the wizarding world does adopt some muggle technology, so what would happen if a wizarding internet was developed?
A wizarding internet would help put an end to the mountains of parchments used in wizarding administration and study, and it would allow new forms of wizarding entertainment to develop (wizarding YouTube anyone?). Perhaps the biggest influence on the story of a wizard internet would be on the Daily Prophet’s apparent monopoly over wizarding news. An internet with different news sources could allow people to accept Voldemort’s return far quicker than in the original story.
7 Online Conspiracy Theories
The Statute of Secrecy is one of the most important elements of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts story. It is the reason why the wizarding world is separated from the muggle world and drives the plot of the Fantastic Beasts movie forward. However, would this Statute of Secrecy still work well today?
It is very hard to cover-up events in modern society due to the intervention of the internet and the availability of smartphones. The widespread use of the internet today would allow muggles to share their own theories about witches and wizards and attach images and so on as proof, allowing for conspiracy theories to take hold.
One of the more interesting examples of muggle technology that witches and wizards have adopted is the radio. Harry and the gang listen to the radio while they’re on the run from Voldemort and, more importantly for this entry, the Order of the Phoenix uses radios to communicate with each other.
While it wouldn’t necessarily make the Order more successful in their fight against the Death Eaters, switching radios for smartphones would certainly make the group more efficient (if they don’t get distracted by wizard Facebook of course).
5 Wizard Amazon and Diagon Alley
Diagon Alley is one of the most beautiful areas in the wizarding world. The Diagon Alley scene in Sorcerer’s Stone is truly a magical picture that has transitioned into iconic status. However, the existence of a wizard internet could also lead to a magical version of Amazon.
The existence of online shopping also has had devastating impacts on high street shopping in the muggle world. Consequently, Diagon Alley may lose several customers as students opt to buy their goods elsewhere.
4 A Ballpoint Pen
The quill is a central part of life in Hogwarts. While the quill itself isn’t necessarily magical, it certainly helps to build the wizarding world into something loveably eccentric.
However, while the quill is positively charming it could also be irritating to use on a frequent basis, particularly for muggle-borns or half-blood students who are aware that ballpoint pens exist. A ballpoint pen is far easier to use than a quill and would also allow students to save money as they wouldn’t have to spend so much money on ink wells.
3 Library Search System
The Hogwarts library seems to an amazing place. Not only does it possess a wealth of knowledge from centuries worth of books, but it also has a deeply intriguing restricted section.
One of the main drawbacks to the Hogwarts library, however, is their lack of a search system. In modern universities and schools, there is a system you can use to check the library for what books they currently possess, where the book is, and even order the book so you don’t have to search for it yourself. If Hogwarts had this, it could have made Harry and the gang’s life so much easier.
2 Cameras And Screens At The Triwizard Tournament
While the Triwizard Tournament was undoubtedly a spectacle, not many in the crowd could actually get a good look at what was going on. In the first task, Harry was chased around Hogwarts by a Hungarian Horntail Dragon; in the second task, all four competitors spent their time underwater; and in the final task, all four competitors were in a dark, foggy maze.
This means that the crowd didn’t actually see much of the action during the Triwizard Tournament. However, if there was some kind of camera system, the crowd could have seen all the action on a big screen.
1 Wizard Google
This one should go without saying. In the modern world, we would struggle to survive without the help of Google. The search engine allows us to find answers to some of the most complex questions that come to our mind.
Within the context of the wizarding world, or Harry Potter’s story more specifically, it would be incredibly useful. A wizarding search engine would allow Harry and the gang to find out answers to mysteries such as the Slytherin’s monster extremely quickly. In addition, a wizarding search engine could also help muggle-born students learn about the wizarding world before they visit Hogwarts for the first time.
NEXT: 10 Times Harry Potter Should Have Used Muggle Technology (And Didn’t)