The First Wearable Computer (by Ed Thorp)

Discussion in 'Blackjack - archives' started by zengrifter, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. zengrifter

    zengrifter Banned

    The Invention of the First Wearable Computer
    Edward O. Thorp
    Edward O. Thorp & 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.

    ... continued here in PDF -
  2. spyndocktor

    spyndocktor New Member

    C Shannon

    What I find intersting is that Thorp pull Shannon into AP play. Claude Shannon is one of the most important mathematicians in the 20th Century. He is the father of information theory which is critial in determining the bandwith of a communication channel and also the mathematics behind compression algorithms.
  3. zengrifter

    zengrifter Banned

    Excerpt from Claude Shannon Video

    The video is supposedly available online but it doesnt load currently. If it becomes available I'll repost the link. It shows Shannon juggling, among other things. zg


    (Dead link:
    A documentary co-produced by the Jacobs School about the father of information theory, the late Claude Shannon, has won a Gold award in the Biography category in the 2002 Aurora Awards.


    Excerpt from "Claude Shannon - Father of the Information Age"

    ...Although he continued as a consultant there for another decade, Shannon left Bell Labs in 1956 to teach at MIT. While there, he engaged in an eclectic set of interests and inventions, many of them, in his own words, 'useless.'

    In a 1963 edition of Vogue, the magazine described some of Shannon's early contraptions-a chair lift that took his kids 600 feet down from the house to a nearby lake, for instance, and a hidden panel in his library that sprung open, but didn't lead anywhere. "The fact is he loved engineering things, the gadgets," says Paul Siegel, an information theorist and director of UCSD's Center for Magnetic Recording Research. "The mechanical mouse, the chair lift from his house down to the lake, they were an integral part of his psyche."

    "He built more than 30 unicycles by hand in his garage," adds UC Berkeley's Berlekamp. "One of the questions that intrigued him was how small a unicycle could a human ride, and he built several that no one could ever ride."

    Shannon was an inveterate tinker and inventor. One room in his house was crammed with dozens of his devices: a computer that could calculate in Roman numerals; a machine that could solve the Rubik's Cube puzzle; a gasoline-powered pogo stick; and several mechanical juggling machines.

    Shannon himself took up juggling with a vengeance, a sport he later demonstrated for a Canadian Broadcasting documentary. He also wrote a widely praised academic paper on the dynamics of keeping multiple objects in the air at once. "Generally, I think if a guy comes up with all those things, like a mouse that does a maze etcetera, it usually looks like showing off, that he's Mister Idea man," says Thomas Cover, a professor at Stanford University. "But Shannon was so quiet and unassuming and humble, that I think he was doing these things despite himself, rather than to show off."

    Stanford's Cover won the Shannon Award in 1990, in part for his work extending information theory into investment analysis. Shannon never published on the subject, but delivered two influential lectures at MIT on stock investing-pre-dating widespread use of portfolio theory on Wall Street. He and Betty Shannon also made a killing in the stock market, after investing in technology start-ups owned by friends, companies such as Teledyne and Hewlett-Packard.

    Like playing the stock market, games and game theory also intrigued him. Notes Cover: "One of Shannon's connections that's little known, is Ed Thorp, the guy who became famous for writing the book Beat the Dealer, how to play blackjack optimally and count the cards. One summer he talked to Shannon and he asked whether Shannon would submit his work on blackjack to the national academy of sciences. Shannon got interested and before long he went out to Shannon's house and worked on a roulette prediction scheme." ....
  4. xengrifter

    xengrifter Well-Known Member

    Six decades later -

    sagefr0g likes this.

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