SmartWallit keeps track of your wallet and phone
By C.C. Weiss
April 12, 2013
Two of the most important things that you carry with you everyday are your wallet and your smartphone. One holds your money, and the other keeps you connected with everything important in your life. While you probably keep pretty close tabs on both these pocket-sized necessities, it's not outside the realm of possibility that you might misplace one. Whether it's the wallet or the phone, the SmartWallit makes sure you find it before your next cup of coffee or text message.
The SmartWallit is an accessory that slides into your wallet and uses integrated Bluetooth 4.0 hardware to make a wireless bridge between your wallet and your phone. Once you've installed the accompanying app, your smartphone and wallet are married together by more than just close proximity in your pants. Leave your wallet behind – say when you're rushing out of the house to work – and your phone will beep as a reminder. Leave your phone behind and your wallet will beep. If you purposely leave your phone or wallet behind and want to stop the beeping reminder, all you have to do is tap the wallet or phone.
If you end up misplacing your phone or wallet, simply tap the one that's on your person and the lost item will beep, providing an audible clue as to its whereabouts. The app on the smartphone will even show you the distance to the wallet.
From there, the SmartWallit adds functions that may be useful to some, or useless to others. You can program the device to provide a cue at regular interviews, reminding you that your wallet is indeed on your person. SmartWallit designers added the feature because they "think it's silly people continuously pat their pocket to check if they still have their wallet" – but apparently not silly if they're patting their pocket to shut off their vibrating wallets when they leave their phones on their desks. The reminder buzz seems like a solution in search of a problem.
Another function that may or may not prove useful to the individual user is wallet-use tracking. When you use the wallet, the wallet's ambient light and proximity sensors recognize the usage and communicate with the app to automatically record when and where you used it. You can also input payment information into the app, helping to keep closer track of your finances.
The SmartWallit offers a range of up to 100 feet (30 m). Its lithium-polymer battery offers up to 25 days of charge, but using the notification features can cut into that drastically. Recharging takes about two hours. Because of its Bluetooth design, the SmartWallit will drain your phone battery an estimated 5 percent extra per day.
A wallet with a circuit board stuck in it won't appeal to everyone. To help the SmartWallit appeal to wallet minimalists, the designers also offer a card holder accessory that allows you to ditch the wallet and carry cards and cash directly on the SmartWallit. A keyring lets you bind your keys, the other pocket essential, to your SmartWallit.
The SmartWallit is made from glass, stainless steel and ABS. It weighs 25 grams (0.9 oz) and measures 60 x 36 x 4.9 mm (2.4 x 1.4 x 0.2 in). It is currently up on Kickstarter and about 80 percent on its way toward a US$40,000 funding goal. A pledge of as little as $39 will get you a SmartWallit. The expected retail price is $60 with shipments planned for July.