When the bracelet is waved over the phone (which could be done as the sign of the cross), the app starts the rosary. At the touch of the beads, the bracelet tracks the wearer’s progress as they pray the rosary.
Not only does it help with prayer, it also records steps and health data like other fitness bracelets.
Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle’s mission and outreach officer Mary-Anne DeLuca was excited to find out about the new device.
“I was just walking today praying the rosary,” she said. “Carrying rosary beads is a witness, and this would be a continuous witness. It could spark conversation and be an encouragement to pray more. It will help people think about prayer, not just be a fashion accessory. I’d love to get one.”
The eRosary app includes the standard rosary, contemplative rosary, and thematic rosary; an audio guide to contemplate and listen to the Gospel; and guides on prayer for the challenges of the world and the mission of the church.
The smart rosary belongs to the family of “Click To Pray”, the official prayer app of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (where Pope Francis has his own personal profile) that connects thousands of people around the world to pray every day.
Physically, the device consists of 10 consecutive black agate and hematite rosary beads, and of a smart cross that stores all the technological data connected to the app. When activated, the user can choose their rosary. Different thematic rosaries will be updated every year.
Once the prayer begins, the smart rosary shows the user’s progress throughout the different mysteries and keeps track of each rosary completed.
Shortly after the rosary bracelet was released, the Vatican discovered an easy route for hackers to retrieve a user’s personal information. The issue has since been fixed.
The device is available to buy in various countries here for €99 euros (about $160) but is not yet for sale in Australia.