Wristband the answer to Muslims’ prayers

A wristband invented by a pregnant mother to count her baby’s kicks has unexpectedly provided a solution to prayer problems for many Muslims.

Caroline Baker, who runs a design consultancy in Denbighshire, invented the counting device last year because her busy work schedule made it difficult to keep track of baby Jacob’s kicks.

Now she and husband Troy have started selling the patented Jacob’s Adder bracelet on the internet – and have been surprised by some of the reasons people have given for buying the device.

“Some Muslim people are using it to count how many prayers they’ve done. Somebody saw it and thought it would be ideal,” said Mrs Baker, 28.

She had held talks with supermarkets over providing wristbands for people to count the recommended five daily portions of fresh fruit and vegetables, but had not thought of approaching mosques or other religious centres. Muslims pray five times a day. Repetition is also a feature of other faiths. Roman Catholics recite the Hail Mary prayer in sets of 10, and recitation of mantras is an element of Buddhism.

The waterproof wristband is embossed with figures over which a simple cursor slides. The cursor does not shift accidentally, even if the wristband is removed.

Mrs Baker, whose St Asaph-based company Design Reality landed a major Ministry of Defence contract in 2003, said she had deliberately avoided aiming the wristband only at pregnant mums.

“We have a generic band which isn’t branded with being a baby product.

“Some people use them for counting on the golf course. They don’t want to be walking around the course with something that looks like a baby product. We’ve got some more masculine colours, like green.

“We’re getting people using them for lots of different things. Two ladies bought them because they have to inject some medication in the right leg, then the left leg. They wanted the bracelet so they could remember which leg they injected last time.”

With medication users in mind, Mrs Baker created a variant of the band marked with the days of the week and numbers one to four.

The name Jacob’s Adder was invented by a sub-editor at the Western Mail who used it in a picture caption last year, when we were the first to report on the new device. Since then Jacob’s Adder has been featured on Richard Hammond’s 5 O’Clock Show, on ITV1, and on BBC News.

Mrs Baker said the website – www.jacobsadder.co.uk – was now getting 10,000 hits a month.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Western Mail, UK
May 2, 2006
Rhodri Clark

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday May 2, 2006.
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