Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Speak 'n Abacussing

I get tired moving all those beads around by hand
  (+6, -1)
(+6, -1)
  [vote for,

Using what appears to be a regular abacus you will be amused when Bob from accounting simply states his math problem out loud instead of moving the rosewood-looking beads himself. You will be astounded when the beads move of their own volition to solve the problem on its own.

The voice activated abacus works using voice recognition software installed on the little computer concealed in the attractive wood frame. The computer will translate the problem into the correct bead movements and solve it using abacusing methods.

The beads are ferrous metal in the center surrounded by a non-magnetic coating to prevent *sticking* to the other beads when the electromagnets are turned on. The rods that the beads slide on are also non-magnetic. Each rod has a number of individually powered magnets internally that turn on and off similar in the way a mag-lev train works that will push and pull the beads into the correct position as the numbers are said aloud.

All you have to do is read the bead positioning when they stop moving and amazed your friends with the latest in abacuser technology.

NotTheSharpestSpoon, Sep 11 2006


       Hear tell they've got these at Abacussby and Finch. (+)   

       Cussing and Abba - an unlikely partnership - fix your beady eyes on this croissant +
xenzag, Sep 11 2006

       "Mamma Mia!"?
jutta, Sep 11 2006

       Gets a [-] from me, I'm afraid. The big advantage of an abacus is that it makes numbers tangible.   

       Several years from now, your guy from accounting would be using the same talking tool (and annoying those on neighbouring desks). My guy would have taught his brain rapid arithmetic by using his hands to solve a problem. Eventually he would be able to visualise the abacus in his hands and be able to do difficult arithmetic in his head.
st3f, Sep 11 2006

       Why don't you just admit you're a Luddite, [st3f]? You're afraid of cutting edge technology. Abacusing you of being a scaredy cat, but that's okay.   

       But just so you know, your guy will end up being some kind of idiot savant while Bob will be promoted to regional Abacusser of the Northwest region.
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Sep 12 2006

       someone will attach threads to each of the beads then speak the math puzzles that cause the threads to weave together, then very smart people will look at the strand and be able to say what was computed.
beanangel, Jan 02 2020

       But the beads on an abacus don't pass around and between each other. They only slide back and forth along their rods. That can't weave anything without some additional perpendicular motion.
notexactly, Jan 02 2020

       // very smart people will look at the strand and be able to say what was computed. //   

       No they won't, because the abacus isn't a Turing machine. The result gives no information as to how it was obtained. If the displayed information is "23.86" there are an infinite number of arithmetic operations that can produce it, irrespective of the operator applied to the arguments.
8th of 7, Jan 02 2020

       The threads, beads, perpendicular motion and operator quirks are an intrinsic reality to that particular 23.86 weave. Probably no two equal calculations will be perfectly the same.
wjt, Jan 03 2020

       some similar concepts:
-- Bluetooth-connected plow (Fitbit-style tracking for ancient-style farming)
-- Electric Steam Engine (Lots of moving brass which conceals a small electric motor which does the actual work)
-- Social Media Scythe (Takes a selfie with each sheave harvested, automatically)
-- Artificial Rocks (self-explanatory)
sninctown, Jan 03 2020


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