14th Century Smartwatch
In 14th Century England, during the reign of Richard II
, one of the first technical instruction manuals in local language was written, not like today, by some anonymous person in marketing, who has never even touched the product, but in Middle English, by the poet and founder of English Literature, Geoffrey Chaucer
, who knew the many features of this early portable calculating device intimately and the heavens above him.
was like the smartwatch of its time with dozens or perhaps hundreds of apps beyond the basic functions of being able to tell the time, or the latitude (but not longitude. that's another story).Philip Ball tells the story of Chaucer's Astrolabe and why the famed poet came to write the world's first scientific instruction manual. In the Middle Ages, no self respecting astronomer would be without an Astrolabe, a pocket sized device for working out the movements of the planets and stars. So how did a poet come to write the first user booklet? This story shows Chaucer in a new light: as a pre-eminent astronomer, and offers a new key to unlocking his most famous literary works.Listen here (~30 mins.): http://goo.gl/jlLpD2
(Stream, download MP3, or podcast)
Tom Wujec (Ted Talk ~10 mins.): https://goo.gl/EyKGTV
Demo of 13th Century astrolabe principles
Astrolabe (Wikip): https://goo.gl/RLi0FC
Chaucer (Wikip): https://goo.gl/O0xUKX
Related posts:Richard II: https://goo.gl/DxSrG2Longitude: https://goo.gl/MdepGs
Image: Michele Invernizzi, DensityDesign Research Lab, Milan https://goo.gl/kjpdt1
A 14th Century Astrolabe: http://goo.gl/U3jsz5
But I couldn't be bothered to ask their permission just to post this image.