The wallet is suffering an identity crisis. With Apple’s “digital wallet,” Apple Pay, grabbing headlines, it’s impossible not to imagine a world in which leather tri-folds stuffed with old receipts, business cards, and expired Costco ID cards are a thing of the past. Certainly, the idea of freeing yourself from the bulk of an overstuffed analog wallet in favor of the phone you already carry is liberating, but what happens when you go to pay for groceries and realize you’ve forgotten your phone at home or in the car? And what about the funny green paper stuff lots of folks are still carrying around? What’s it called, again? Oh yeah: cash.
Thankfully, for those of us who aren’t quite ready to surrender our financial transactions to a mega-corp in Sillicon Valley, there’s the iWallet.
Ironically, iWallet is what the media (including Digital Trends) called Apple Pay before it was officially called Apple Pay. But in fact, the iWallet is far from a digitized version of all your credit cards. Instead, it provides a biometrically secured spot for you to put your cards and cash. It’s being billed as the world’s first and only biometric locking wallet, and it uses a built-in fingerprint scanner — much like the new iPhones do — to verify its user’s identity before unlocking and allowing access to its contents. What’s more, material used in an iWallet’s construction blocks radio frequencies, keeping RFID-enabled cards safe from hacking, or being used from within the locked wallet.
That would be cool enough for many, but the iWallet packs another useful feature: It links to your smartphone via Bluetooth so you don’t have to worry about leaving it behind accidentally. If you take off with out your iWallet, your phone will ring, suggesting you head back to grab it. Conversely, if you leave your smartphone behind, your iWallet will ring.
Come to think of it, the iWallet might be the best way to make sure you always have a way to pay, be it with Apple pay, or good ol’ fashioned plastic (or paper).