VITAband is a cash/I.D. combo you wear on your wrist


February 6, 2012

VITAband is a bracelet for solo outdoor athletes, that provides a link to their emergency contact information, and that allows them to make cash-free purchases

VITAband is a bracelet for solo outdoor athletes, that provides a link to their emergency contact information, and that allows them to make cash-free purchases

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There's one thing that everyone should have on their person when they venture off on solo outdoor activities - their I.D. That way, should they end up injured and unable to communicate, first responders will know who they are, and who to contact. While the various cards kept in one's wallet are a good form of identification, a lot of people don't want to lug a bulky wallet around in their pocket while doing things like running or rock-climbing. That's where the VITAband comes in. Not only does the waterproof bracelet provide a link to its wearer's full Emergency Response Profile, but it also allows them to make cash-free purchases.

For the I.D. function of the device, VITAband users go to the company website, where they create their profile. Along with basic information such as name, address and next-of-kin, they can also include data such as prescription history, existing medical conditions, drug allergies and insurance information.

When EMTs find a bracelet-wearer crumpled in a pile of climbing rope at the bottom of a cliff face (as an example), they will presumably notice the medical symbol on their VITAband, along with the toll-free phone number. Upon calling that number, they will then be instructed to provide that user's unique I.D. number, also displayed on the bracelet. This will allow them access to all of the information on their Emergency Response Profile.

Besides getting hurt, outdoor solo athletes sometimes also find themselves unexpectedly having to pay for things - these could include bike repairs, cab fare, band-aids, or that extra energy bar that they didn't think they'd need. For that reason, the VITAband also incorporates a Visa Prepaid Chip and Companion Card.

Users can load the card with anywhere from US$25 to $500, once again via the company website. As with PayPal, the card is linked to a funding source such as a debit card or credit card. It can then be used to make purchases, simply by waving it near an RFID-reading device at businesses that use Visa's payWave system. Although such contactless payment technology is certainly catching on with many retailers, it's hard to say just how likely it is that the corner store near your broken-down bike is going to be one of them.

The VITAband is available in two sizes and five colors, at a price of US$34.90 - that includes a a one-year subscription to the Emergency Response Profile service. Renewals cost $14.95 a year.

Source: VITAband via Bicycle Times

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

less expensive, less gaudy (I just don\'t get the big plasticky fluorescent band things) is - used by cyclists, marathoners, tri-athletes for years. Several buddies use them - while they\'re not tackily gaudy, they stand out nicely, the tags are metal with the info etched on with the same deal - toll-free number you can call to get your entire medical profile, but quite a bit of it is etched on the tag.

Tag can go on your shoe (nice for tri-s) or around your wrist or ankle. . .


Does it tell the time? I\'d be more likely to wear it if it had an actual day-to-day useful function.

William Lanteigne

Good idea William, I might wear one bracelet, But two would drive me nuts.

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