Smart Wallets Prevent Overspending

By Meera Dolasia on December 18, 2010

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Coming soon to a store near you - A smart wallet that will monitor your cash and even prevent you from spending, if your balances get really low.  Sounds intriguing? Read on!

Proverbial Wallets were designed by John Kestner, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, who came with the idea as a way to keep people aware of their shrinking bank balances, something that is difficult to do in a world where most purchases are made with the swipe of a card.

In order to keep current with the user's bank balance, the wallets are fitted with a tiny computer, which uses a Bluetooth device to connect to the owner's phone - that in turn connects to the bank account via the Internet. That means that the wallet has up-to-date information about the owners' account at all times, and can therefore, react to it accordingly. In keeping with different spending habits, Mr. Kestner has come up with three designs.

The Mother Bear

Named because it is protective about the owners' money, the Mother Bear is designed to encourage savings. The smart device is fitted with a hinge, that gets harder and harder to open, as the bank balance shrinks - If the account is at a zero balance, the wallet simply shuts down, preventing the owner from overspending, by even a penny.

The Peacock

The Peacock is meant for people who live from one paycheck to the next. Every time a paycheck gets deposited to the account, the wallet puffs up nice and big, thanks to a mechanical arm that is built inside. As the owner spends through his salary, the wallet starts to deflate, becoming completely flat by the time the date for the next paycheck rolls around.

The Bumblebee

Designed for big spenders, the Bumblebee is equipped with a vibrator that buzzes each time a purchase is made - The bigger the transaction, the longer the buzz, to alert the owner of the situation, before it is too late. An added bonus? It will buzz even when someone else is trying to use the credit card, therefore preventing fraudulent transactions.

Mr. Kestner is also working on smaller, more compact versions of his wallets for just credit cards and while the Proverbial wallet is still just a prototype, he is ready to bring it to stores as soon as he can find a financial backer. He would of course try and keep the cost of these smart devices as low as possible, for if they were expensive, it would defeat the purpose of his whole exercise wouldn't it?

Sources: gearlog.com,eco.mit.edu

Proverbial Wallets from John Kestner on Vimeo.

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244 Comments
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  • animaljamz
    animaljamzSaturday, February 14, 2015 at 7:31 pm
    the last one scares me ,.,
    • revlis
      revlisThursday, January 22, 2015 at 2:28 pm
      Amazing! I think I'm a person who needs either the Mother Bear or the Bumblebee..
      • kaian
        kaianMonday, December 1, 2014 at 2:52 pm
        i need to get that now ... oh right i already have it lol
        • peacheslarue
          peacheslarueSaturday, November 15, 2014 at 11:14 am
          I need to get that 4 my mom 4 Christmas
          • happypug12
            happypug12Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 2:50 pm
            Cool, but I don't need one, because I hardly EVER spend anything.
            • tiana19149
              tiana19149Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 1:43 pm
              i need one too because if i see something i like i'm like okay i'm buying this because it's pretty
              • paply
                paplyThursday, December 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm
                i need one
                • brettTuesday, November 26, 2013 at 7:16 am
                  thay are all so cool i wish i had one i need!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it
                  • otter
                    otterSunday, November 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm
                    The mother bear is so cool! What if you just take out 1 cent or something small over and over again?
                    • headream100
                      headream100Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 12:59 am
                      I may as well need a Mother Bear myself! (*chuckle*) Although I like the Peacock design better.

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