I see a lot of new products during my daily RSS activities. Most are from mainstream providers- the latest and shiniest gadget, the most recent update to laptops and desktops, new niche products. Less common but more interesting are the accessory makers; those secondary manufacturers and brave souls with (what they hope to be) a good idea and some venture capital that strike out into uncharted territory. Some, like TwelveSouth and Grove, make a name for themselves by offering products that improve on an existing ecosystem; creating a synergistic effect by making a product like the iPhone or iPad that much better.
Many of these solo manufacturers were able to bring their products to market thanks to crowd funding outlets like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. I’ve gladly supported many campaigns, from iOS accessories like the Une Bobine to multipurpose devices like NuPlug, to fantastic animation like Bee and Puppycat (and if you haven’t seen it, YOU NEED TO). Some never find their way to my feeds, but thankfully reach their funding goals and see another day. The most recent (and very worthy) addition to this list is Coin.
Coin is the perfect juxtaposition of cool tech idea and useful product. Simply put, it offers a single device to take the place of all of your existing debit, credit, and rewards cards (that use a magnetic stripe). A small plug in device similar to what merchants use for point-of-sale transactions scans the data from your card for replication on the Coin card, allowing you to forgo that stack of plastic for the one card to rule them all.
The utility of the Coin is staggeringly obvious, especially given the increasingly cash-free environment we live in. I’ve looked long and hard for suitable card-carrying iPhone cases due to my shortage of pockets in my work scrubs. I’ve gone through many cases (and the Wally, a Kickstarter-funded non case solution). All have offered value, but my search was limited by my need to carry multiple cards- at the very minimum an ID, my debit card, and one credit card. The Coin allows for me to carry my entire financial card library with me, in one convenient and secure package. As the YouTube clip showed, there are mechanisms in place to safeguard your financial information, and limit the use of the Coin when you offer it for payment. While I haven’t been able evaluate it physically yet (it’s still in pre purchase status for early adopters) I’m excited about the possibilities that it offers.
As I’ve stated many times, I’m a sucker for new and cool tech. Anyone that shares a fascination for technology would understand the joy of being able to partake in something new. That enjoyment is exponentially compounded when that new tech actually lives up to its billing, much like the iPhone did. While the Coin won’t serve to be the multitasker that the iPhone has grown to be, it may very well change my daily routine and needs.
- No Coin to Spend Your Coins On (fredericiana.com)
- Using Your Bank Check Card/Debit Card on Vacation (ally.com)
- Coin: Is This All-in-One Credit Card Gizmo Right for Your Wallet? (dailyfinance.com)
- Why Crowdfunding Is the Ideal Financing Strategy for Many Startups (urbantimes.co)
- Crowd-Funded Adoptions (adoptedbydesign.typepad.com)