Yesterday a press release was issued for the rather poorly named Wocket™, set to release in Q1 2014. What is this new-fangled contraption you may be asking? Well it’s not a ‘next generation wallet’ as it is being marketed. Nor is it a locket. It’s not even a lesser known Dr. Seuss character. In fact, what we have here ladies and gentlemen, is a scanner and all-in-one credit card.
Here is an extract from the press release:
‘This unique technology takes a very different approach: Instead of replacing the wallet, NXT-ID is improving it. The Company’s innovative Wocket™ replaces all the cards in your wallet with one single re-programmable card that supports most payment methods currently available at a Point-of-Sale (POS) at retailers around the world (magnetic stripe, NFC and barcode)… all within a secure biometric vault.
Access your Wocket™ with security on the touch screen or through voice authentication biometrics and select which card you wish to use; now use that card to substitute any card in your wallet. What’s more, no personal information is retained on the magnetic stripe so the risk of fraud is greatly reduced.’
The idea seems to be that you use the scanner to download information about a particular card onto the blank card which comes with the device. Afterward the blank card is able to be used in its place and, once the transaction is carried out, it returns to being blank. Theoretically this could extend beyond credit cards, to gift cards, gym memberships and more. What this product most reminds me of is the Doctor’s psychic paper from the BBC drama ‘Doctor Who’ and that is an exciting prospect indeed!
On a more serious note: this idea is a solid one. The modern world requires us to carry a veritable army of cards around with us at all times, simply to function day-to-day. The Wocket™ seems like a much more reliable alternative to the piracy-plagued, smartphone based services that have been attempting a similar thing up until this point.
Who knows? Decades from now we may be looking back on 2014 as the last year of the credit card.