In a time when mindfulness apps are a runaway trend amongst people with the free time, money, and devices, and when every element of our virtual behavior has been quantized in some way, perhaps it should come as no surprise that religious paraphernalia has become the latest Internet of Things sub-genre.
A recent report from the Hong Kong Economic Journal (link in Chinese) describes a set of connected Buddhist prayer beads in development by Taiwanese tech company Acer. It’s a beaded bracelet with an embedded chip that connects with an app on your phone to tally up how many prayer recitations you notch down each day. That info is then presumably beamed somewhere to Buddhist bean counters sitting at the gates of digital nirvana.
A translation of the article by ejinsight gives some more background:
Buddhism is the most popular religion in Taiwan, with over 10 million followers or half of the island’s population.
Major Buddhist groups have all adopted modern management systems and have set up dedicated teams to manage their official websites and social media platforms.
The smart Buddhist beads also come with fintech functions for electronic payments, facilitating donations and offering discounts at certain shops and restaurants in the Buddhist community.
Cover image: Hong Kong Economic Journal