Findables technology isn’t new (though it is getting better and better), and smart wallets have been marketing their way into our pants for over a year. Where much of the innovation still lies, and likely a great deal of the adoption, is in style, and as always, battery life. Enter: Rotterdam-based, Ekster and their slim trackable wallet that is designed to never get lost, and assuming you leave the house every now and then, never run out of juice.
Users can access their cards with the click of a button using the patented opening mechanism and track their wallet when it is lost via smartphone. Additionally, the wallet blocks RFID/NFC signals from escaping the wallet, and the tracker card is solar powered, only requiring three hours of solar energy for a month of power.
The TrackR technology behind the system automatically syncs with the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth so users can easily locate their wallet on a map. The companion mobile app displays the wallet’s last seen location, features a two-way ringer (rings the wallet or phone, depending on which is lost), and uses a crowdsourced GPS system that alerts other users if they’re passing by a lost wallet.
The wallet comes in a couple of different models which are noted below. All models are connected to the smartphones via BLE 4.0 Bluetooth Low Energy, have a range of 100ft (30 meters), and have a built-in ringer. The mobile app is compatible with iOS 7 and Android 4.3 and above. As far as charging goes, they don’t need to be set in direct sunlight. Rather they only require 800 lux for charging, whereas direct sunlight provides 10,000 lux.
The Parliament is a bi-fold wallet with room for over ten cards, coins, and cash, and it has RFID/NFC protection for six cards. It’s sized at 1.5×10.5x7cm (0.59×4.1×2.7in). The Senate is designed for minimalists. Offering room for at least several cards, and RFID/NFC protection for six, it’s sized at 0.9×10.5×6.5cm (0.35×4.1×2.5in).
There’s also the iPhone 6/7 case which holds one scanner card, emergency cash, a reset pin, and an extra sim card. It’s made of genuine leather, has a soft microfiber lining, and is Apple pay friendly.
So far Ekster has been doing quite well in their Kickstarter campaign; they’ve raised over €55,000 on a small goal of only €10,000 and they have an estimated product shipping date of July 2017. With the early bird pledges, you can nab The Senate and Parliament with a tracker for €74 and €94 respectively, though you can save some cash if in it for the style rather than the anti-loss. Early bird pricing for Ekster tracker card, which you can buy on its own, starts at €23. The iPhone 6/7 cases start at €27.
The name Ekster was inspired a nickname given to the bird the Magpie. They’re known for tracking down shiny objects such as jewelry and coins. And now maybe your Starbucks card.
Charles Costa is a marketing specialist helping technology companies grow, one word at a time. You can learn more at CharlesCosta.net