Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Why does this digital abacus exist?

Sometimes, old fashioned things are better. I understand the arguments of those who prefer taking pen and paper notes to typing for example, or even people who prefer analog, vinyl recordings to digital ones.
But I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around the iBrain: Digital Abacus, currently looking for funding on Kickstarter. The fact that abacuses have fallen out of style since the adoption of the conventional Arabic number system that we use today doesn’t seem to have stopped iBrain from creating this, but that’s not a problem in and of itself. Abacuses are apparently still used to teach children math using physical representation, which is also fine.
My issue comes with the fact that this company has made a digital abacus, a phrase that feels inherently contradictory at a very basic level. Once you add Bluetooth and the ability to connect to a tablet, you have not improved the abacus, you have made a very weird calculator / game controller.

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