New Smart Wallets Harder to Open When Finances Are Low
CREDIT: The Peacock wallet grows as your bank account grows.
Researchers at MIT have developed three "smart wallets" equipped with technology to help you stay on budget.
The wallets , which are linked up to bank accounts, aim to make shoppers more aware of their finances every time they swipe a credit card or spend money.
The Mother Bear wallet is created so it's difficult to open when a bank account is low. The resistance increases as a given budget threshold is approached.
This wallet design uses a passive circuit at its heart. A hinge is made out of a motor that can be shorted, and the two leaves of the hinge are sown into the sides of a wallet. When the motor is shorted with a small switch, the hinge offers more resistance, making the wallet harder to open or close.
Another wallet style -- The Peacock -- appears to grow and shrink to reflect the user's account balance. The effect aims to give users a feel a subtle tightness or looseness in their pocket that persists until their account balance changes.
This wallet uses a mechanical servo embedded in a wallet, which is a small device controlled by a square wave of varying frequency to rotate its arm from parallel to perpendicular to the wallet surface.
The final wallet, The Bumblebee, buzzes whenever the bank processes a transaction from the user’s account. This encourages a conscious, de-virtualized connection between the user handing over a credit card and money sitting in a bank account. A buzzing that doesn't have an associated purchase also alerts the user to fraud, or when a borrowed card is being used.
The Bumblebee wallet uses a vibrator motor in a wallet pocket to generate vibration feedback. It picks up transaction information via Bluetooth from an Internet-connected cell phone or computer. The intensity of the vibration correlates to the amount of the transaction.
The wallets are expected to be available for purchase in the near future .