FTW, a Wallet Rethink - OZY | A Modern Media Company

FTW, a Wallet Rethink

FTW, a Wallet Rethink

By Eugene S. Robinson


Because thin is in.

By Eugene S. Robinson

Poet laureate of the streets Charles Bukowski said it best when he said of the inevitable roads to madness that it wasn’t the big things in life that were likely to send you over the edge. Death, divorce and injury were all bearable in a way. But that “shoelace that breaks with no time left”? That’d do it. Well, that and ATM cards misplaced. Gas cards slipping between the cushions of the car. Credit cards you can’t keep track of and the eventual accounting at the end of a dunning call from the card issuer.

These are First World drags, but they are drags. So the brokers that sit around and start their days with “wouldn’t it be cool if … ” have at the very least minimized our misery by minimizing our mass via this thing that keeps all of our things all in one thing. Which is to say, nothing that new and revolutionary but probably long overdue in the world of gadget-loving gadgeteers: Spendwallet. Though what the name lacks — Lockkeys, Buycash, Eatfoods, anyone? — the technology promises, and Spendwallet keeps every single one of your cards on a card-size digital device you can carry just like you’d carry all of those cards.

For $119, you can squeeze about 20 cards into Spendwallet and keep your cash in a little enclosed pocket in the back.

Courtesy of these cats at X Lab — Andy Mo, Kevin Kang, Mammad Emin and Noh Wook Choi — Spendwallet was something they started working on back in February 2015 with some heady-sounding magnetic flux emulation technology. Well, this and some serious payment and security stuff. The kind of stuff their collective histories at Cisco, LG Electronics, Qualcomm and Sony Mobile would have well prepared them for.

“Most people measure the convenience of using cards versus the inconvenience of losing cards,” said banker Sanzio Garcia about our tricky relationship with the cards that rule our lives. Or the inconvenience of having them stolen, lifted, demagnetized or dirtied up. Against, we guess, the visceral thrill of pulling out an American Express Black Card, or even the significantly more down-market Platinum card. But for $119, you can squeeze about 20 cards into Spendwallet and keep your cash in a little enclosed pocket in the back. 

“But do you want to have one more device to carry?” asked Garcia. A good question when you consider that according to Fool.com, most Americans are carrying about four credit cards with them at any given time. But Spendwallet, it seems, is not just about mass reduction. It also changes the way you pay since if you have no card, you have no card to swipe, and so you wave it. Then it saves it. So the promise of greater control over how you spend and what you’re spending on? Right there. Well, not really right there, because after an aggressive crowdfunding company that saw them raise 200 percent of their requested capital, Spendwallet doesn’t hit until October. But when it does — degenerate gadget geeks that we are — we’ll be there.

But what happens when you lose it? It calls your phone and lets you know where it is. Take that, Black Card.

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