Most people don’t mind changing standards, mediums, or form factors with their technology, just so long as the replacement is demonstrably better than its predecessor — and doesn’t lose something in the process. As the uproar about Apple’s decision to ditch the headphone jack for the iPhone 7 demonstrated, the problem comes when the new solution being offered doesn’t completely address all the features it is supposedly replacing.
That’s the situation the team behind a new Kickstarter project thinks we’re facing with wallets.
“Smart wallets are big news in a lot of countries right now,” Yoo Hyun, chief designer for the so-called Wonder Wallet, told Digital Trends. “There’s a lot of discussion about systems like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, but we think there’s still room for physical cards. These cards aren’t going away for some time. We believe that there’s a gap to explore, a missing step, between smart payment systems and regular wallets.”
That gap, Hyun hopes, will be filled by his team’s smart solution.
Wonder Wallet is a smart physical wallet which can hold all your regular banknotes and credit cards, but also offers a customizable epaper display-based exterior, time and location-based functions, and more.
With the Wonder Wallet, users can personalize their wallet by changing the image it displays: just as you might change the background on your smartphone.
More impressively, the company claims that it will recognize specific schedules and time-based events, and pop up just the right information at that moment. For example, instead of carrying around all your store loyalty cards, Wonder Wallet gives you the option of storing them digitally and then flashing them up when you visit the store in question. If misplaced, it will also send push notifications to your smartphone while displaying a “help” message on the wallet itself.
Accessing your physical cards and money is achieved using a neat sliding mechanism, and so long as you’re not the wallet-stuffing equivalent of George Costanza in Seinfeld, you should be good to go.
Hyun said that Wonder Wallet started out as a business-to-business project designed to flash up employee IDs. “We thought it could display your ID card, as well as setting and displaying meeting times, tracking information about where people are in the building, and more,” he said.
However, the team quickly realized that what they were developing was “more and more like a wallet,” so decided to reconfigure the project with the consumer audience in mind.
If you want to pre-order a Wonder Wallet, you can do so on its Kickstarter page, where a wallet, charger, and money-clip will set you back $66. Shipping is set to take place in May 2017.