"Short sentences about the news or peoples' feelings move continuously across the screen depicting live and up-to-date events. The sentences are taken from a wide range of global news sites as well as websites where people can write about their experiences and emotions."So who would have a use for such a device? Why, Nuns of course! The Prayer Companion is being used by the Poor Clares nuns from St Joseph's in York – nuns who "otherwise abide by medieval traditions" – to keep up to date with current events and ensure their prayers remain topical and relevant to the modern world. And it seems they're finding it useful – they've even given it a nickname, "Goldie", which we can only assume stems from their admiration for the jungle and drum and bass DJ of the same name.
Joking aside, though, the story behind the invention is rather fascinating – as this article explains, the Prayer Companion is an interesting example of the use of modern web technology, such as RSS and social networking, to solve an age-old problem, in this instance how to keep the nuns up to date with events without intruding excessively upon their ascetic lifestyle. Simply giving them a laptop and letting them loose on Twitter would hardly have achieved those aims, so it seems the researchers have found the perfect compromise. And judging by the photo above, the nuns seem happy with the results.