Ever forgotten your wallet in a coffee shop or restaurant? Now there’s a way to ensure it’ll never happen again: Woolet, which its creators bill as a “smart wallet.” (Thanks to TechCrunch for the original link.)
What exactly does a “smart wallet” feature, aside from handcrafted leather, a slim profile, and hidden pockets for cards and keys? A rechargeable battery, Bluetooth support, and the ability to synchronize with a smartphone app; if you walk 20-85 feet away from your wallet, the app will make a sound and guide you back to it. (Woolet is accurate to within 0.4 meters.)
Because the app records your wallet’s last location, you can retrace your steps even if you realize your wallet’s been missing for hours. There’s also a crowdsourcing element: A button on the app, in the words of Woolet’s Kickstarter page, will activate “the Woolet crowd detection network,” in which “every other Woolet user will start scanning for your lost Woolet,” with the updated location information sent to your phone. (That feature will only work, of course, if Woolet itself becomes semi-ubiquitous.)
Can a wallet-alert like Woolet seize the popular imagination, or is it yet another example of connected devices run amok—cool but not nearly useful enough for the population at large? Time will tell. But for people who seem to lose their wallet every month—and you definitely know who you are—something like Woolet could prove a serious aggravation-solver.