Magic wands have a presence in the history and legends of human cultures from thousands of years ago all the way to the present day. They are simple objects that respond to human gesture, speech, emotion, and even thought, and thanks to books and movies, they are widely understood from an early age as symbols of great empowerment. As such, the magic wand presents an interesting design opportunity as a form for a tangible computer interface. In addition to exploring the technology needed to build a magic wand interface, The WANDerful Alcove focused on role-immersion scenarios in which these interfaces can have a socially transforming effect on their users, serving as a catalyst for ad-hoc interaction and collaboration in a story experience.

The experience is designed to support magic collaboration. For example, when one uses a spell to make the sun appear, and another wields the magic wand for making the rain, together that makes a rainbow. It also incorporates spell recognition via the wizard hat.

The interactive wand could be seen as the predecessor of the Nintendo WII and seems to have set the trend in terms of tangible and gestural interfaces.

The WANDerful Alcove was exhibited at the e-culture fair 2, Amsterdam, 23 - 24 October 2003 and MIT Media Lab Europe, Dublin, 2002-2003. It was also presented at MIT Media lab, Boston, 2002.