This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
If your wallet is bursting with cards, from credit cards to loyalty cards, you're not alone. But a new startup, Coin, wants to fix that by putting all those cards into one. Here's how it works:
First, Coin comes with a device that and lets you swipe as many of your cards as you want into your smartphone. Then, using Bluetooth Low Energy, information for up to eight cards can be transferred from the mobile app to the battery-powered Coin card. When you're ready to use the new card at the store, a small display allows you to sort through the cards, changing the magnetic strip on demand.
But one of the new card's coolest features could also be Coin's biggest crux. One of the main security features of Coin has the card stop working if the card loses contact with your smartphone. It's a great idea because if, say, you start walking away from your card at a restaurant the card alerts your phone. If you don't get the message after a certain amount of time, the card shuts down. But, as Christopher Mims points out at Quartz, "It sounds like a great idea… until you realize that the price of replacing a handful of plastic credit cards with a single one is that your ability to pay for anything becomes entirely dependent on the battery life of your smartphone."
Still, the company has some time to figure out that problem. Coin first ships in the summer of 2014. It's available for pre-order now for $50 and will eventually jump to $100.