Hey Big Spender

These may look like ordinary wallets, but think again. Researchers at MIT have come up with an inventive approach to help combat your shopping itch. Called Proverbial Wallets, each wallet is fitted with a subtle device that interacts with you every time you feel the urge to splurge. 

There are three variations of the wallet. The first is the Bumblebee, which buzzes through a vibrating motor whenever your bank processes a transaction.

Next comes the Mother Bear. This wallet come complete with a hinge – the lower your balance gets, the harder the wallet becomes to open.

The third variation is called the Peacock, which shrinks and expands in size, in accordance with your changing bank balance.

left: Bumblebee; middle: Mother Bear; right: Peacock

So what actually makes these wallets work? The wallets are embedded with actuators and control circuits, with the downside being that they currently require a nearby computer in order to function. Researchers are working towards a model that will integrate financial data with a cell phone application that retrieves the user’s personal account information and preferences, and transmits the desired response to the wallet via Bluetooth. 

It’s a clever and imaginative concept, but how many shopping addicts would actually put up with such a wallet remains to be seen.