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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 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.
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?