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Smart Wallets React To Spending By Shrinking 98

Posted by samzenpus
from the smaller-by-the-hour dept.
fangmcgee writes "These high-tech wallets are digitally programmed to react to your bank account levels by shrinking in size, refusing to open, or vibrating whenever a transaction is processed. From the article: 'The Proverbial Wallets come in three attractive styles to fit your spending needs: The Mother Bear has a constricting hinge that makes it harder to open the closer you approach your monthly budget, while the Bumblebee buzzes every time a transaction is processed. The Peacock inflates and deflates with the amount of cash in your account, which puts your assets on “display” for potential mates, according to the designers.'"

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Smart Wallets React To Spending By Shrinking

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  • I think the peacock will be great - just use javascript to market to foursquare users. Privacy be damned.
    • by c6gunner (950153)

      "The Peacock inflates and deflates with the amount of cash in your account, which puts your assets on “display” for potential mates, according to the designers."

      I guess if you're Bill Gates, it doubles as a hot-air baloon.

  • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@@@gmail...com> on Friday December 03, 2010 @11:45AM (#34431364) Homepage

    "The Parasite". Sniffs the local wireless traffic for your bank account details when the wallet queries for your balance...

    Seriously though, they better secure these things properly, because it sounds cool and people won't care until it's too late. And because I won't let myself get anything like this until I know it's secure, but I want one!

    • by angiasaa (758006)

      I'd guess the bank details don't get sent to the wallet. More like a server somewhere processes what the wallet should do, and then tells the wallet to do it. The wallet obediently does what it's told.

      It'd be immensely silly for them to build technology that actively computes stuff, into every wallet. That would be economically blasphemous!

      What makes more sense is to have many chips embedded to do the work and one server somewhere to rule them all!

      No doubt, some hacker somewhere would reprogram their Pea

    • Or the "Wife" model, which will hide the cash from you in the exact amounts of either what she wants from you or to just below the amount you need for yourself, whichever irritates you more! An optional feature on the Wife model is an integrated credit card that grows in debt without any discernible benefit.
  • Bumblebee. Great for watching your spouse.

    • by phayes (202222)
      A wallet that buzzes when a transaction is processed. Now I wonder where a spouse searching for stimulation could put that...
      • by asticia (1623063)
        I don't need wallet for tracking transactions, my mobile serves the same purpose when it receives notification from bank. And yes, it buzzes too :-p
  • ...start shrunk and remain so
  • 1/0 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03, 2010 @11:46AM (#34431380)
    The high-tech - and no doubt expensive - wallet will respond to its own purchase by collapsing into a singularity.
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Friday December 03, 2010 @11:47AM (#34431398)
    How about adding 'Economic Responsibility, Saving and Budgeting' to our Elementary school's course curriculum?
    This would go a whole lot farther than a wallet that sends and electric shock every time you overdraw your account with a $5 latte.
    • How about adding 'Economic Responsibility, Saving and Budgeting' to our Elementary school's course curriculum?

      Right, because what your 3rd grade teacher says for a few hours will definitely outweigh what your parents and society will be showing you by example for two decades.

      I mean, it has worked so well to fix violence, grammar, and health.

      • by digitaldc (879047) *
        Well, do you really think we are better off with no education about our finances?

        And, you could argue that we are a less-violent, better-educated and healthier society than we were decades ago.
        • by RobDude (1123541)

          Healthier? Not really. Certainly not as a result of education. Better working conditions, stricter regulations maybe. But education? No. We're fattier than ever and happy to be.

      • by KiloByte (825081)

        A few hours is better than nothing -- which is what most people get.

        You can't force parents to do their job, such a short course would guarantee everyone has at least the dimmest clue.

        • Someone on a fark thread said it best: (paraphrasing)

          Financial education in this country is having the Citibank VISA booth next to the registration desk during Frosh week.

        • by petik (887539)

          You can't force parents to do their job, such a short course would guarantee everyone has at least the dimmest clue.

          Why can't you force parents to do their job? Enforcing current parental accountability laws and perhaps adding a few might help. Heck, make the parental tax relief directly dependent on child's performance in school, on the road, obeying law, etc. Parents might start paying more attention when it hits their wallet.

      • by RsG (809189)

        You're assuming he meant something like sex-ed, where it's an optional side-course that gets taught to kids once, and never brought up again. Whereas I read "add to curriculum" to mean something more akin to basic coursework, i.e. you're taught it more than once and in more detail. And yes, that stuff does stick, albeit only if you find ways to use it in life.

        Frankly, the school system could use a "life skills" branch in addition to the basic language/math/science/history you're compelled to take. Not ju

        • by tepples (727027)

          the school system could use a "life skills" branch

          Where I went to school, this information was split between the required "health" and the elective "home economics".

      • by khallow (566160)

        Right, because what your 3rd grade teacher says for a few hours will definitely outweigh what your parents and society will be showing you by example for two decades.

        It's not that hard to do. Show people getting screwed by scams and similar things. Play games that involve considerable deception. Show the suck that happens when you spend outside your budget. It won't stick to everyone, but a lot of people can get the clue.

        • by NateTech (50881)

          How's that going to work? The whole county got scammed (and is still) that $300K cardboard contruction boxes (houses) are a good "investment".

          • by khallow (566160)

            How's that going to work? The whole county got scammed (and is still) that $300K cardboard contruction boxes (houses) are a good "investment".

            I just told you one way to do that. Education won't prevent every scam or financial problem, especially if the person wants to be scammed.

    • by hosecoat (877680)

      Agreed, a "Life Skills" class should taught at every grade.

      Covering topics such as:

      1. 1. First Aid
      2. 2. Know your rights
      3. 3. Job skills (resume, interviews)
      4. 4. How to do your taxes

        etc

      • by denzacar (181829)

        5. Profit?

      • That's my job.

        I've got two kids and I don't let the school system take responsibility for their education. That's my job. They're little so they don't know a lot of First Aid. (Mostly how to avoid requiring it and get an adult) They do know the One Rule: Don't Panic. I didn't spend this much time, energy, and money, let alone the energy expended by all my ancestors to even get a walk-on part on the stage, just to let the lowest bidders with tenure do a half-assed job then shrug my shoulders if MY KIDS

        • by hosecoat (877680)

          "That's my job."

          I wish more parents would step up to the job

          Even though I agree that parents should teach this information, the fact that few people know this information shows that it's not being done. I am not worried about my kids knowing this information, but society would be better if other peoples kids knew this information. If I know first aid, I can save your life. If I am incapacitated, who can save mine? That is the reason I think it should also be taught in school, to increase the number of peopl

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      How about adding 'Economic Responsibility, Saving and Budgeting' to our Elementary school's course curriculum?
      This would go a whole lot farther than a wallet that sends and electric shock every time you overdraw your account with a $5 latte.

      LOL.

      My elementary school had one. So did my Junior High.

      Let's see if it worked. Are people my age generally thrifty and not up to their arsenecks in debt? Um... NOPE!

    • How about adding 'Economic Responsibility, Saving and Budgeting' to our Elementary school's course curriculum?

      The schools do teach this. My daughter is in 7th grade, and has a "life skills" course, where she has to make a budget, balance a checkbook, write a resume, go to a simulated job interview, and lots of other basic skills.

      It is an elective course, but probably should be mandatory.

    • How about adding 'Economic Responsibility, Saving and Budgeting' to our Elementary school's course curriculum?

      That is an awesome idea. I recommend high school though so it will be fresh in the kids minds when they graduate and start dealing with this stuff without parental intervention. My economics teacher devoted a third of our course to this and I think I benefited a lot from that.

      However, I don't think it can happen. Banks make money when you borrow, businesses make more money when you spend ruthlessly. Unlike the kids, who would have benefited, these parties have money for the "don't brainwash our children!" c

    • by pclminion (145572)

      Yes, if only we had some way of constantly knowing where we stand with respect to our weekly budget. Something that lets us know from minute to minute whether we're on target for what we've planned. Something like a wallet that provides feedback. Ah, yes. If only we had such a thing.

      What kind of fucked up thought process lead you to make the above ridiculous comment? Are you suggesting that people who track their budget via a mobile phone are similarly financially ignorant? Or are you implying that we shoul

  • by Tom (822)

    Cool. I hope those "inflating to impress the girls" ones become common. Hacking one should be trivial. :-)

  • I propose a smart wallet be given free of charge to everyone in Congress that would drive a stake through the spot where one would normally find a heart.

    • I think both the Senate and the House each need one that's tied to a balanced budget. Once they start to borrow money, or pass unfunded legislation, it will take 102 Senators, or 500 Representatives, depending on which body of Congress is wanting to spend more money than we have.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Better solution, every dollar they are over the budget, paintball riflemen shoot in the head each senator. It will stop as soon as they hit zero or go positive. To start with they will probably have to install paint pumps in the floors to keep the senators from drowning..

        Wait.... Skip the pumps.

  • The Costanza. A trifold full of receipts, transit tickets, singles, and other stuff. It's to "The Peacock" what a hairpiece is to hair.

  • We're also releasing the Care-free Fedora! This new model shrinks more and more as you reach your daily thought quota. If you're starting to have personal opinions, an HD tv-screen comes up in front of your eyes and cannot be switched off or removed for 12 hours! But here's the best feature of this item : if you try to formulate disagreement or political opinions, or try to remove the hat, a mecanical arm reaches out and puts a bullet in your brain! To add a nice touch, it even places the gun in your hand t
  • by Bobfrankly1 (1043848) on Friday December 03, 2010 @12:08PM (#34431728)
    Now if we only had smart consumers.
    Good thing we don't have smart boxers or briefs though. After you spend, it shrinks...could be painful.
  • There are actually three types - one that shrinks and grows, one that vibrates for every transaction, and, my personal favorite, one that becomes harder and harder to open as you approach a limit. That kind of tactile feedback forces you to realize where you are each month. It's small, but if you make something harder to open, people are definitely less likely to do so even if overcomable. The problem is that by the time you're getting out your wallet it's usually too late, so the Costanza-esque model is

    • by NateTech (50881)

      Until we get past the idea of a MONTHLY budget, we're all screwed anyway. You need to know where you are for the year, the next five years, the rest of your life.

      This thing is just a widget to part fools with their money so they'll THINK they're saving more money, just like most of the "financial" books on the shelves at booksellers.

      Living below your means, means NOT buying one of these retarded things, probably. Or more succinctly, "What would you give up to have one of these?"

  • must work quite well if you want to use it for something "else" while beeing with a prostitute :)
  • So the peacock wallet is a little like a loincloth where the more "assets" you have the more it "puts your assets on “display” for potential mates"?
  • The Peacock inflates and deflates with the amount of cash in your account, which puts your assets on “display” for potential mates,

    I'm sure pickpockets would appreciate this feature as well.

  • Chips are not fucking smart, cards are not fucking smart, materials are not fucking smart, a person may or may not be smart, an animal like a dog might be smart, inanimate objects are not smart or intelligent or clever or fucking astute!

    • by osu-neko (2604)

      Chips are not fucking smart, cards are not fucking smart, materials are not fucking smart, a person may or may not be smart, an animal like a dog might be smart, inanimate objects are not smart or intelligent or clever or fucking astute!

      Generalizing: Things with decision making capabilities may be smart. Things without, cannot.

      Furthermore, smart is relative. There can be smart dogs, but they're smart compared to your average pooch. They're really not very bright by human standards, but nonetheless, are smart dogs.

      Now, what do you call an item with an electronic device capable of reacting to information in a way that most items of the same class cannot?

      Someone who is fucking astute can see the legitimate use for the phrase "smart " in su

      • by osu-neko (2604)

        ...the phrase "smart " in such circumstances.

        And the comment system ate my "<item>" in "smart <item>", because it is not smart. :p

  • by gweihir (88907)

    I don't see these things doing anything except getting on their users nerves and wasting money.

    • I don't see these things doing anything except getting on their users nerves and wasting money.

      They'l make great presents for people you don't really like, and the great thing is, it will seem like a really awesome gift at first, just like the rings of power!

  • ...Until you get pulled over on your way back from buying a new HDTV, and you can't pull out your license. "Sorry officer, my wallet won't let me comply with your orders" will not be a valid excuse.
  • Oh shit! They have wasted their valuable time to create a... crappy wallet? Get some real money instead, problem solved, and your privacy remains protected (banks cannot follow up on all transactions as they can when paying with cards).
  • Just take with you a wallet with only coins in it (aka "coin purse"). It has the following advantages:
    - It does shrink in size as you run out of money
    - It also decreases in mass as you run out of money.
    - It limits the types of money you will be spending. For example, you won't be going out for dinner with coins, thus eliminating your optional expenditures altogether.


    Also, limit your monthly withdrawal to $500 from chequing and $1500 from savings. If your bank doesn't allow you, switch banks.
    • Are you aware that Americans don't generally use coins worth more than 0.25 dollars? Very few coins worth more than a quarter dollar are even minted.

      • by pthor1231 (885423)
        2008 quarters minted - 2,438,200,000 - source 2008 dollar coins minted - 464,480,000 - source [wikipedia.org] Granted, the amount of minted dollar coins is roughly only 20% of what the quarter mintage is, and then you have to add in pennies dimes and nickels, they are still minted in a large amount. Americans just simply refuse to use coins.
        • Comparing just the 2008 mintage doesn't tell the whole story. You need to compare mintage figures over the last 30 years or so, weighting for probability of coins being taken out of circulation, etc.

          In fact, there were 0 $1 coins minted from 1982 to 1998 - but something like 20 billion quarters.

          Of course, the fact that Americans don't like coins is a big contributor. They also don't like $2 bills, which is why you hardly ever see them outside of a collection, even though they were printed heavily in the la

  • ...but the "this is a stupid waste of money" buzzer in my head went off.
  • All I need is this new gadget!

    Hopefully it closes automatically if I try to buy another one.
  • by HalAtWork (926717) on Friday December 03, 2010 @12:43PM (#34432370)
    Ironic that the smart wallet itself is a frivolous purchase... who's in the market for this exactly? I know people like to cram in tech wherever they can, but this is extremely superfluous.
  • When I take money out, my wallet gets a little smaller. When I put some back in, it gets a little bigger. What's so smart about that? Wouldn't mind the vibrator function, though. Could be useful for those days when my wife is being a pain in the ass.
  • And still, this seems sooooooooo stupid; thus perhaps perfect for unabashed consumerism.
  • ... but. How about just connect your bank accounts to your smart phones and use the phones as currency? We'd need short-range data transmission technology (with adequate encryptions and securities). That way, we can see our balance live and put up safety measures that prevents spending. The technology is already there.
  • Criminals will be thrilled that their high-value targets are identifying themselves. But I guess the kind of guy who gets the "Peacock" is already wearing a fur coat and leather hat anyway...
  • The size of the wallet is based on my bank balance?!? Now I'll NEVER be able to find my wallet!
  • They look ugly. They read your bank balance. No wai!

  • The good thing about an electronic wallet is you don't have to worry about making change.

    I'd fanatasized at one time about a form of paper money in a basic denomination that could 'majically' adhere to itself, through some sort of magnetic or velcro-ish property.

    So, no need to break that $20; you'd just tear off what you need.

    Of course, if you carried around large amounts of cash it would get difficult to fold.

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