Imagine if your wallet could communicate directly with your bank account using your mobile phone. The bank account would tell your wallet when you were spending too much money and make it tough for you to keep on spending. It sounds ridiculous but a new set of wallet prototypes created by students at MIT does exactly this to help you stick to a spending budget.
The wallets, called Proverbial Wallets, use Bluetooth technology, the user’s mobile phone and a data connection to link to the individual’s personal bank account. The banking information is then used to alter the wallet in order to provide the user with physical sensations that will remind him or her to stick to their budgets.
Examples of how this could work include:
- You set a monthly spending limit that you do not want to exceed. A hinge located inside of the wallet tightens up as you get close to reaching that spending limit each month. You can still get inside the wallet to access your money, of course, but since it’s harder to open the wallet you are immediately reminded that you’re compromising your savings goals if you spend that money.
- You link the wallet to your bank account and it shrinks or swells depending on how much money is in your account. In the old days people would know that they had enough spending money because their wallets would get fat with cash. Since we mostly use virtual money now, we don’t get that same experience. However, one of the new wallet designs does just that, fattening and shrinking in relation to your bank balance.
- The wallet vibrates when a transaction is processed. This gives you a physical reminder of how frequently you’re spending money. It can also alert you to possible fraud if it vibrates when you didn’t make a transaction.
These wallets are just prototypes and not yet for sale but they provide an interesting new addition to mobile payment options, don’t they?