Whenever I head out, I typically carry the following items in my pockets: my keys, iPod Touch, dumb phone, and wallet.
As the mobile technology evolution continues to move at a blistering pace, I began to wonder: what if I could replace everything in my pocket with just a smartphone? Let’s take a look.
Keys? Who needs ’em anyways?
Replace my keys with my smartphone?! You must be outta your mind!
Let me introduce you to Lockitron.
Lockitron offers you the ability to unlock your door using just your smartphone. Yes, you read that right. Simply install the device over the deadbolt on your door, and Lockitron will allow you to unlock your door wherever you are by communicating via your local wifi network.
This is madness you say! What if my phone runs out of batteries or the power goes down in my house?? If you have an iPhone 4S or 5, you can use the device’s built-in Bluetooth to unlock the door by simply walking up to it. Or, just use your regular old keys. Wait, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of this blog post?
Ok, one more question…what if someone steals my phone or I lose it?? Well, unlike losing your physical keys, you can disable Lockitron access by resetting your account password.
Check out there demo video to see Lockitron in action. Beware of excessive chest hair.
Goodbye business cards!
There are a plethora of business card reading apps on the market. Bump for iPhone and Android has been around for as long as I can remember. As its name implies, you can share contact info and photos with anyone by simply bumping your phones together. Bump. Call me.
Card Flick is a more recent app that made its debut at TechCrunch Disrupt SF last year. Unlike Bump, the app lets you create beautiful digital business cards using a variety of themes and customizations. Not the bumping type of person? No worries. With Card Flick, simply share your card with a flick of your finger. Or, you can just use email, but only lame people do that.
Cash is for losers
Show of hands…who hates carrying cash with them? I do. With a burning passion. I almost always use my debit or credit card for making purchases, primarily so I can monitor my spending using Mint. Furthermore, what the hell am I gonna do with the 2 quarters, dime, and 4 pennies in change I just got for my coffee? Throw it in my imaginary piggy bank where it will collect dust for all eternity?
Enough of my silly rant. Cash must go, and with it some day, the plastic cards that have come to represent our consumption-loving society. How to accomplish this? Here’s one solution: Square.
You’ve probably heard of Square a bunch of times these past few years. Yeah, those crazy guys that built that tiny card reader that lets anyone accept credit or debit cards with just their smartphone. While teaming up with Starbucks earlier this year as part of their grand scheme to take over the entire planet, the company has also been spearheading one of the more radical products called Pay with Square, which may someday eliminate the need for cash or credit cards to pay for stuff at your favorite merchants.
Pay with Square is uncanny in how simple it is too use. Simply open a tab at a local merchant (say, an ice cream parlor), walk into the store, say your name, and walk out with your purchase without ever having to take out your wallet.
If that isn’t black magic, I don’t know what is.
Loyalty cards: the bane of my existence
Rounding off the list of items in your wallet, we now come at last to every consumer’s favorite: the dreaded loyalty cards. The primary reason why I don’t like signing up for them is the added bulk to my massive, pulsating wallet (related: George Constanza’s wallet) and also the fear of my desolate email inbox being inundated with promotional offers (I’m looking at your Groupon).
Apple’s latest iOS 6.0 iteration introduced Passbook, a digital wallet of sorts. From my short experience so far with it though, the selections have been sparse but I imagine that things will improve sooner rather than later. In the meantime, plenty of loyalty card apps are already out for you to try. I recommend checking out Key Ring and Perx. Both apps are available for both iOS and Android.
Hey, remember Square? Using the aforementioned Pay with Square app, you can also redeem rewards and other loyalty discounts.
Hey, someone pickpocketed me! Oh wait no. It’s here. On my smart phone.
Man, losing your smartphone now would really suck! Hang on tight to that precious device, folks!