The iBag2 is a digitally programmable handbag designed to flash and vibrate when “danger spending zones” are hit and even self-lock if these discreet warnings are ignored by shopaholics.
Launched by personal finance website Finder.com, the iBag2 is the result of a joint effort from a female-led team of engineers from robotics firm Colmac Robotics Ltd in Ireland and renowned New York-based fashion designer Geova Rodriguez. The first were in charge of the robotics of the accessory while the latter came up with the couture design. Finder claims it has created the unique products to help monitor and curb impulsive spending and avoid buyer’s remorse.
The iBag2 comes with a series of built-in features that remind shoppers of their spending goals whenever they reach for their wallet and even self-locks when it believes that they are most vulnerable. For example, the GPS tracking feature lets the iBag2 know when you are approaching one of your pre-programmed vulnerable spending zones, so it can warn you via flashing amber lights. An RFID system connected to LED lights and vibration motors also sends discreet warnings whenever you reach for your wallet, to remind you of your spending goals. But perhaps the most notable feature of this smart handbag is the self-locking mechanism. A magnetic field is used to snap two steel plates together to lock the bag whenever the built-in timer signals your most vulnerable spending moments during the course of a day or when you enter one of the vulnerable spending zones mentioned above.
The smart bag also comes with a fast charging power bank, battery capacity of 10,000 mAh with two USB ports – one for charging the bag and one for charging your smartphone – as well as a backup 9V battery attached to the microprocessor.
“We created the iBag2 because we are committed to helping people make smarter decision about their money,” said Michelle Hutchinson, money expert at Finder.com. “The iBag2 makes it easier for people to manage their personal finances through smart technology, whether it’s by enabling them to easily compare different financial products online or innovating to create out-of-the-box solutions like the iBag2. 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.”
However, Hutchinson adds that “While the iBag2 will help you be more conscious of your spending, it’s only a short-term solution. Cardholders need to understand how credit cards work, what features they have and how they differ between cards so they can find a card to suit their needs. Cardholders also need to keep track of their spending by setting themselves a budget and checking their statements. To help pay off a credit card debt, it’s a good idea to consider balance transfer cards where you can transfer debt to another card with a much lower rate for a certain period of time.”
You might be tempted to think that the iBag2 is nothing more than a publicity stunt, but you’d be wrong, kind of. Finder says that it is currently “gauging interest” in the smart accessory and that the bag will go into production if there is a significant enough response from the general public, who are invited to register their interest using an online form. The retail price of such an ingenious accessory – $5,000. Before you flip out, remember that you have to spend money to save money. Or something like that, anyway.
Th iBag2 is an upgraded version of the original iBag, which Finder successfully launched in Sidney, Australia, back in 2014.