Wearable Abacus: Why Smartwatches And Gadgets Aren't As New As You Think

17/03/2014 13:02 | Updated 19 March 2014

Some wearable tech is pretty new and innovative.

But the idea itself? Nope.

This picture proves that wearable technology is actually a fairly ancient idea - and no we're not talking about wristwatches.

abacus ring

The picture shows a tiny abacus silver ring dataing from 17th century China.

The Qing Dynasty ring is a fully functional abacus, which is smaller than a human thumb but which is just as useful as a full-size equivalent.

It's 1.2 centimetres long and 0.7 centimetres wide.

The calculating tool was a vital piece of equipment at that stage in Chinese history, and can still be found throughout the world, especially in education.

As this report makes clear it's not quite a computer, but it's a great example of how computational tools have always been needed on the move.

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