You’re out at the mall, and suddenly you spot it: 50% off on everything! Oh, sure, you don’t really need yet another set of beed sheets, but it would be stupid not to get them now, right? At 50% off, it’s almost as if you’re being paid to buy them! Yeah well… if that’s the kind of logic that has put your finances in the gutter, maybe you’ll find a bit of help in technology. The iBag is a purse that contains an Arduino board, a GPS chip, and a locking mechanism which confers it a host of potentially money-saving abilities.
As soon as you enter your shopping ‘danger zone’ the bag lights up with a LED light warning signal that’s triggered by a GPS chip. If you decide to ignore this and make a purchase, the bag will track your wallet being taken out and send an SMS to your nominated ‘responsible other’ to let them know you’ve had a spending relapse.
You may think that although these features are great, they’re only a deterrent and won’t actually stop you from making a purchase, so there’s also a real-time clock which locks the bag during vulnerable spending times during the day.
Listen, we realize this sounds demeaning to women. The idea of having a “responsible person” that can come and save the day, coupled with the fact that the iBag is a purse and not a man’s wallet can seem a bit sexist. The company addresses this by informing us that a man’s version can also be made, but their research “has shown them” that women exhibit this type of behaviour more often than men. We haven’t seen the research, so we’re not going to comment either way. Their intentions are in the right place, if maybe their messaging is a bit off. It’s not even a commercially available product yet, though it will be for $200 if enough people express their interest in it. You have to leave your email address on their site to do so.