Acer has made smart beads to help keep count of Buddhist mantras

By Shannon Liao, Wired, March 5, 2018

Taipei, Taiwan -- Taiwanese tech company Acer has made Buddhist prayer beads that can help keep track of recited mantras. The beads have a smart chip that tracks the number of times a mantra is repeated and displays the number on a smartphone app. (The chip senses how many times a user has rotated the beads through their hand. Each rotation marks one mantra.)

Buddhism is estimated to be practiced by about over a third of Taiwan’s population, according to the CIA World Factbook’s 2005 data, making it Taiwan’s most popular religion. Therefore, there are enough people that could use an app to help keep count of how many mantras they’ve recited.

The beads also reportedly have the capacity for future features to be added, like electronic payments, or getting discounts from Buddhist shops and restaurants.

So far the beads are only going to be available in Taiwan. It is set to be released in mid-March for a list price of $3,888 NTD ($132.78 USD). We’ve reached out to Acer for comment.