Jun 20, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
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It may have seemed like a joke when it first launched in Australia a couple of years ago but now personal finance website Finder.com has launched a tech-enhanced update of its concept iBag and made it available in the US and UK.
Designed to prevent impulse spending, the iBag2, featuring tech developed by Dublin-based Colmac Robotics with a design by New York-based Geova Rodriguez, locks itself to prevent its owners taking their purse out of the bag if they get near to a “danger spending zone”.
The company didn’t give a price in its announcement of the bag’s launch but reports suggested the price will be in four figures.
The original bag sent text alerts and flashed warning lights when its GPS detected such a danger zone. The updated version also has a vibrating shoulder strap and interior LED lights to tell the owner that it’s about to self-lock via the magnetic steel bars beneath the inside top edges of the bag. The bag will stay locked until the owner is out of the danger zone.
A timer connected to electromagnets also locks the bag according to its owner’s most vulnerable spending moments during the course of a day
It also includes an RFID card that can be placed in the owners’ purse to recognise when and how often that purse is taken out of the iBag2.
Finder.com co-founder Fred Schebesta said: “Anything we can do in order to make people aware about credit card debt and impulse spending, we think is really important . . . and what we’re all about.”
Earlier this year the company commissioned a number of surveys that showed 64% of US adults make unplanned purchases with their credit cards each month. Data also shows that UK adults owe £63.3bn in credit card debt and UK cardholders spend £43.2bn on impulse purchases annually.
Additional tech features include a reminder every two hours via yellow lights and vibration that it’s time to reapply sunscreen and a tracker that helps the owner ‘find my iBag’ using Bluetooth technology and a smartphone app if it’s stolen or misplaced.
It comes with a fast charging power bank, battery capacity of 10,000 mAh, plus two USB ports (one to power the bag and one to charge a smartphone or any USB-chargeable device).
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