Ed Thorp: The First Wearable Computer

The Invention of the First Wearable Computer

by Edward O. Thorp
Edward O. Thorp and Associates

The first wearable computer was conceived in 1955 by the author to predict roulette, culminating in a joint effort at M.I.T. with Claude Shannon in 1960-61. The final operating version was tested in Shannon’s basement home lab in June of 1961. The cigarette pack sized analog device yielded an expected gain of +44% when betting on the most favored “octant.” The Shannons and Thorps tested the computer in Las Vegas in the summer of 1961. The predictions there were consistent with the laboratory expected gain of 44% but a minor hardware problem deferred sustained serious betting. We kept the method and the existence of the computer secret until 1966.
Editor note:  Edward Thorp’s full report is available here or at http://www.bjrnet.com/archive/thorp-first-wearable-computer.pdf.  You must have a PDF reader to view this report.