With physical money, we intuitively know how much we have and spend, because it literally goes through our hands. The virtualization of money has magnified the gap between our decisions and the consequences. Do we have a grasp of how money comes and goes?
The Proverbial Wallets restore the benefits of tangibility to virtual money. Tactile feedback reflecting our balances and transactions helps us develop a subconscious financial sense that informs responsible decisions.
The Bumblebee buzzes to give feedback you can feel in your pocket for each bank transaction as it happens. The length of the buzz indicates the relative amount, and a pattern indicates deposits or withdrawals.
The Mother Bear is protective of the money within it when you need to be thrifty. Its hinge resists opening as you're approaching your monthly budget goal.
This is implemented with a small motor in the hinge that uses back EMF to create resistance, essentially taking the electricity generated by operating the hinge and thriftily powering the motor against that movement.
The Peacock swells and shrinks to reflect the balance in your accounts, which you can feel in your pocket. Your assets will be on display to attract potential mates.
The Proverbial Wallets communicate with a cellphone through Bluetooth, using its data connection to get account activity from your bank in near-realtime.
Each wallet was made from leather with laser-etched and embroidered patterns to reflect the character of each.
Original concept done in collaboration with Daniel Leithinger.
Exhibited at Ars Electronica. Press: NPR, CNN, Gizmodo, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Discovery Channel Canada, Designboom.