TECH
17/03/2014 12:02 GMT | Updated 19/03/2014 13:59 GMT

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

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.