If your wallet had a mind of its own, we’re sure it will have something to say about your spending habits. Apparently, someone thought that was a good idea and came up with billfolds packing robot brains: the Proverbial Wallets.
Courtesy of MIT’s Media Lab, the pocket-sized cases are meant to help you pay better attention to your spending at a time when most of your transactions are done using debit cards and credit cards, instead of cash. That way, the next time you’re lining up at the cashier to pay for a new 55-inch HDTV, you have a good idea what kind of damage it will actually entail on your bank balance.
The Proverbial Wallets come in three types: Bumblebee, Mother Bear and Peacock. Bumblebee has an integrated vibrator that buzzes every time money goes in or out of your bank account. Mother Bear is all about thrift, making the billfold harder to pry open the less money you have remaining. At zero balance, it clams up and cannot be opened. The Peacock, on the other hand, swells and shrinks, depending on the amount of funds you still have.
According to the MIT Media Lab, the current prototypes are tough enough to slip in your back pocket without damaging the integrated components. They kept the electronics to a minimum, though, with the wallet communicating with a smartphone over Bluetooth to find out what its next action should be. The phone takes care of keeping tabs on the actual spending, as well as getting financial information from the user’s accounts.