Proverbial Wallets to keep your digital spending in check
The widespread adoption of credit and debit cards means, for many people, the cashless society is already a reality. However, this means the simple system of checking how much cash you’ve got in your wallet before making a purchase is no longer an accurate reflection of your finances, making it all too easy to succumb to temptation and overextend yourself financially. The Proverbial Wallet project at MIT is looking at “un-abstracting virtual assets” with wallets that provide tactile feedback that reflects a person’s current financial state.
The wallets devised by the folk at MIT’s media lab all use Bluetooth to connect to a mobile phone and make use of its data connection to get financial information from the user’s bank accounts. There are three different wallets that use three different forms of haptic feedback to help with our modern pecuniary predicament.
The Bumblebee is a wallet that uses a vibrating motor to ‘buzz’ whenever the bank processes a transaction on the user’s account. This is designed to encourage a conscious connection between the act of handing over your credit card and the removal of your hard-earned cash from your bank account. The length of the buzz reflects the size of the transaction and the pattern indicates whether it is a deposit or withdrawal. An added benefit is that it also alerts the user to fraud when they get a buzz without making a purchase.