The iBag keeps a check on spending. - AFP
THE iBag is designed to be a stylish way of keeping shopaholics in check.
It looks like a normal handbag and, to an extent, it is. However, it is a handbag with radio sensor, a GPS tracker and the ability to trigger a physical lockdown, preventing its owner from being able to open it, if need be.
Created by creditcardfinder.com.au, an Australian credit card comparison service, the motivation for launching the iBag is to help people rein in their unnecessary spending and in particular, keep them from accessing their credit cards when they are at “their most vulnerable”.
It uses an RFID tag which tracks and counts every time the purse or wallet is being removed and replaced in the bag; it also uses GPS technology to track when the bag and its owner are in dangerous locations – for example, a shopping mall the week before payday.
If the data the bag is gathering raises a digital red flag, then it can send a text message to a friend or family member and, in extreme cases, automatically enable the bag’s lock during the times of day when the data suggests its owner is most likely to spend money.
“The iBag is an extreme option for overspenders and may not be the answer for everyone. For instance, the iBag will help remind you not to use your credit card but it can’t stop you from overspending, not sticking to a budget or saving and how to pay down your debts,” said the company’s Michelle Hutchinson.
This is by no means the first time a company has attempted to infuse technology with fashion to curb frivolous spending. In October, a prototype of something called the Living Wallet was unveiled in Japan, a design which can literally run away if it feels its owner is reaching for it too often. Equipped with miniature wheels, it is able to stop, start, swerve, call for help and, as a last resort, email the owner’s mother to warn her of her son’s overspending. – AFP Relaxnews