- meet the iBag – custom designed by the female-led team at Colmac Robotics Ltd, and designed by Geova Rodriguez from New York, it doesn’t just look good, it can help you save!
The personal finance website finder.com/UK has announced the launch of the UK’s first ever digitally programmable, self-locking handbag, which comes with in-built robotics designed to snap the bag closed when predetermined spending goals are threatened.
The “iBag2”, as it has been dubbed, is programmed to self-lock, flash and vibrate when “danger spending zones” are hit; a magnetic field is used to snap two steel plates together to lock the bag, whilst an RFID system, connected to LED lights and vibration motors provide the sound and buzz alert.
The bag also locks up at pre-programmed times and flashes or vibrates as a “discreet warning” when wallets are taken out to try to maintain spending levels.
GPS tracking is employed to warn shoppers when they enter “pre-programmed vulnerable spending zones”, issuing an amber warning before the locking mechanism is enabled, as well as making the handle vibrate.
The iBag2 will stay shut thanks to the magnetic field until a safe zone is reached, at which point the bag is automatically unlocked.
Finally, the bag will also issue a two-hourly “sunscreen” reminder, letting busy and distracted shoppers know it’s time to re-apply, and a Tile tracker means that should you lose the bag, god forbid, the tracker can be activated using Bluetooth and a smart phone app, making it easy to recover, or track, if it has been stolen instead of lost.
- designer Geova Rodriguez shows off the iBag in his East Village store in New York
The bag, which comes with itwas custom-designed by a female-led team of engineers from the award winning Ed-Tech specialist robotics firm Colmac Robotics ltd, who are based in Dublin. The design is from well-known New York based designer Geova Rodriguez.
Finder.com say that the inspiration for the bag was alarming research concerning how much brits are spending on their credit cards.
Apparently, brits owe a total across the population of £63.3 billion, which is £2 billion more than in 2015.
Over half of that debt is accruing interest of £36.7 billion.
- the inside of the iBag, showcasing its built in LED lights
Impulse purchases are costing brits £43.2 billion, according to a survey conducted by Mortar London of 2,000 people in the UK; half of the purchases are on items that subsequently are not used, and the impulse to spend happens on average 2.6 times per month.s own fast-charging power bank, battery capacity of 10,000 mAh and two USB ports,
One in six cardholders say they keep their spending a secret from their partner, one in ten say they lie about the prices of the things that they buy, and in in every 20 people questioned admitted to intercepting the postman in order to make sure they got to their credit card bill first.
“The iBag2 is one possible solution to impulsive spending as it features in-built technology to make shoppers aware of their spending urges in the moment and can even physically deter them from accessing their wallets when they are at their most vulnerable by self-locking”, says Michelle Hutchinson, Money Expert at finder.com, adding;
“As a fintech firm ourselves, we understand the incredible problem-solving power that technology can provide, which is why we are so excited to have partnered with experts in robotics design to be able to offer an innovative solution to the very real problem of mounting credit card debt.”
Finder.com is owned by 2 Australian entrepreneurs, Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia, who have grown the site to become Australia’s most visited personal finance website – the UK version helps people compare financial products online.
If it may be initially hard to tell if the iBag2 is more of a publicity stunt than a serious product, perhaps the news that the iBag1 successfully debuted on the streets of Sydney back in 2014 will help allay any fears or skittishness – the team say that they will go into production if there is a significant enough response from the general public, who are invited to register their interest using this form.
And there’s more good news as the design team say that a men’s version of the bag is in the research and design stage, with a prototype due to be released in December 2016.
If nothing else, the iBag2 should help to determine who holds the purse strings in a relationship – or it could even prove to be the next internet of things sensation.