In an era where smartwatches tell us not only the time but also how much we’ve walked, eaten, our body temperature, our biometric details and at the same time allow us to respond to texts, make calls and basically anything else we can think of, it’s not surprising that the Vatican has decided to dip its toe into the vast pool of opportunities that is wearable technology.
The Vatican has launched ‘The Click to Pray eRosary’; an interactive and app-driven wearable bracelet, that can be used to learn how to pray the rosary. Comprising of 10 black agate and hematite rosary beads and accompanied by a silver smart cross, the device was launched by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and designed by GagdeTek Inc. The beads and the cross represent “the ever-enduring human faith”. Users need to make the sign of the cross on the interface of the smart cross to activate the eRosary.
Going beyond its aesthetics, the eRosary is also connected, logging the user’s progress and logs each rosary that is completed. You can sync the bracelet to its companion app “Click to Pray”, available on both iOS and Android. The app provides access to an audio guide, videos, and images, as well as “personalized content about the praying of the Rosary.” Three methods of prayer are offered to the user. They can either select the standard rosary, a contemplative rosary or thematic ones that are updated throughout the year in accordance with religious occasions and holidays. The Vatican did not neglect healthcare, and in fact added a feature wherein the eRosary tracks the user’s health data, encouraging users to “have a better lifestyle”.
“Aimed at the peripheral frontiers of the digital world where the young people dwell, the Click to Pray eRosary serves as a technology-based teaching tool to help young people pray the Rosary for peace and to contemplate the Gospel,” the Vatican said. They hope that this project “brings spiritual tradition and the latest technological advances together.” By incorporating technology with faith, it seems like the Vatican has taken a step towards inciting more participation and inclusivity when it comes to prayer activities. Though religion has been a part of our lives, will tracking people’s, especially the younger generation’s faith encourage them to be more involved in prayer and religion? Or will it just drive them away? With the independent attitude of the Millenials, it is quite hard to predict. A wearable device that records and tracks your daily prayers could lead to more inclusivity in faith, or it could prove to be a major stumbling block… that only time will tell.
Designer: GagdeTek Inc. (GTI) for The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network