Counting to a Billion


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As a child, I remember challenging myself to count to 1000, 1 million, or 1 billion. I don’t think I ever made it.
Why do we aimlessly count? How long would it take to count to a billion?

Counting to a Billion is a device created to fulfill the desire to count. The electronics consists of a microcontroller, a speech module, and a speaker powered by a rechargeable battery. There is no/off switch. The voice will keep counting when the device is unplugged and if the battery is drained, the count will pick up where it left off when the battery recharges. The voice begins counting at one, two, three and continues counting up until it reaches one billion at which point in time it will stop.

If it took a second to utter each string of numbers, it would take 1 billion seconds or 31.7 years for the device to reach its end. But since it takes more than a second to vocalize many of the numbers in the sequence, it may take upwards of 60 years to complete.

The unit is housed in a solid block of aluminum, cnc milled into a vessel that was designed to withstand substantial abuse over many years.

Counting to a Billion is for sale as an edition of 5.

Materials: Aluminum, custom electronics
Dimensions: 4” (10cm) diameter, 6” (15cm) height, freestanding

Counting to a Billion from che-wei wang on Vimeo.