The Vatican is hoping to attract tech-savvy youngsters to the Catholic Church with the launch of a "Click to Pray" eRosary -- a wearable device connected to a mobile app that's activated by making the sign of the cross.
The device -- which can be worn as a bracelet -- is made up of 10 consecutive black agate and hematite rosary beads, plus a data-storing "smart cross." Once activated, the wearer can choose to pray the standard rosary, a contemplative rosary or a thematic rosary, which will be updated throughout the year. The device shows progress throughout each prayer and keeps track of each rosary completed.
The Vatican says the device -- part of the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network -- is designed as a tech-based teaching tool for learning "how to pray the rosary for peace in the world." The corresponding app features personalized religious content, as well as health tracking info gleaned from the bracelet. It's on sale now for 99 euros ($110/£85).
While most don't think of the Vatican as the most tech-forward establishment, there are actually plenty of signs of the church getting with the times. Who could forget Pope Francis starting his own Instagram account, or the Vatican using messaging app Telegram to communicate and help Catholics during Lent? In a less trendy move meant to save the Vatican's priceless artwork for future generations, photographers spent 65 nights photographing every inch of the Sistine Chapel to aid in future restoration work -- a project that resulted in more than 270,000 still photos. Indeed, the Vatican launched its first iPhone app all the way back in 2008, so it's fair to say it isn't afraid to experiment with new technology.