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The prognostication device was notably utilized by Minerva, during the Capitoline Triad's attempts to stop a solar flare from hitting the Earth in 75,000 BCE. After having been unsuccessful in finding a solution to divert the incoming disaster in time, Minerva decided to use the device to calculate the future, hoping to contact future generations to guide their efforts of preventing the next solar flare.
In doing so, she reached out to Desmond Miles by appearing before his ancestor Ezio Auditore da Firenze in the Vatican Vault in December 1499, knowing that Desmond would relive Ezio's memories in the Animus in 2012, and informed him of the incoming threat.
After the mechanism's rediscovery at the start of the 20th century, it was believed to be an analog computing device built to determine the future positions of astral bodies, until Abstergo Industries researchers discovered its real purpose in the early 21st century.