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Tag: MIT Media Lab

MIT Media Lab’s Proverbial Wallets Changes How You Think About Money

by on Apr.17, 2013, under Functional Wearables, Wearables, Wearables News

Proverbial Wallets from MIT Media Lab

Proverbial Wallets from MIT Media Lab

John Kestner and his team at MIT Media lab developed a series of wallets to help consumers control impulsive and often financially harmful spending habits.  Most of us use debit and credit cards for our day-to-day transactions, but many of us may not be checking available funds, or balancing our checkbooks on a regular basis to make responsible spending decisions.  Enter the Proverbial Wallet Series. The objective of the series is to communicate the user’s financial status in tangible forms to (hopefully) affect the users spending habits in a positive way. So how will a piece of leather and some hardware keep you from falling victim to big-shiny-buy-10-get-1-free purchases?  With actuators, control circuits, and Bluetooth communication, each wallet connects to your bank account and uses that information to update the wallet and notify the user through an action.

Bumble Bee

Using a vibrating motor, the wallet alerts the user of a processed bank transaction with a quick buzz.  If you hear too many buzzes, either you’re spending too much money, or someone else is.

Proverbial Wallet Series: Bumble Bee

Proverbial Wallet Series: Bumble Bee


If you need a more conspicuous alert, the Peacock may be the Proverbial Wallet for you. This wallet uses an embedded servo to create an “inflated” or “deflated” look depending on your available balance.  Got racks on racks on racks? Then your puffed up wallet will show it.

Proverbial Wallet Series: The Peacock
Proverbial Wallet Series: Peacock

Mother Bear

When a vibrating back pocket, or public shaming aren’t enough, the Mother Bear takes wearable wallet protection to a new level.  Based on the users  budget, the resistance of the hinge and motor in the wallet increases as you approach your budget ceiling. Granted, Mother Bear, won’t stop you from ballin’ out, but she will “nag” you about saving and even stand in the door way of wasteful money spending right before you walk past her and do it anyway.

Proverbial Wallet Series: Mother Bear

Proverbial Wallet Series: Mother Bear

While all three are still prototypes, a new wallet combining all three functions should be released shortly. We’ll keep you updated.

Check out the demo video.

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