Monday Rant: Ditching Your Wallet, Keys, Pocket Clutter

Added on by Alex Koehne.

Here is the concept: your phone does everything. It replaces your wallet, your keys, everything. I hate carrying around a ton of shit in my pockets. At this day and age it’s simply unnecessary. Let’s break it down, item by item.

Keys - The Prius has keyless activation. You get in the car, the car senses you are in the car, with the key and then all you need to do is push a button and the car starts up. I saw a commercial for a Ford that takes it a step further. You get close to the car, with key in pocket and there is a digital sliding lock on the door, similar to the way you open your iPhone and presto, the car opens. This could be applied to home locks too, no problem. I would love to just walk up to my front door and always find it unlocked for me. Not only that, but while you are putting in digital locks on your doors, connect it to the lights. If you come home after dark, the lights come on automatically. You get the feeling of coming home to a nicely lit house, without having to burn electricity while you are out. The argument against this whole thing is security. People are afraid of the illusive and mysterious hacker. To this, I say, "bullshit!" No one is going to come hack your front door. If someone wants to break in, they will break a window. There are easier ways to rip off a house than hacking it.

Wallet - The first big thing is credit cards. We use our cards online all the time. You don’t need that magnetic strip. You don’t even need your ID. If your phone could display a bar code for scanning or some other, more high tech means to get your credit card info across to the cashier, why not? Again, people worry about security. I think this would be far more secure. Put a code lock on your phone and walla, it’s ten times more secure than that piece of plastic in your pocket. Plus with the multitouch technology, you could add other means of protection. Some sort of signature you do with your finger or a fingerprint scan or something. What else do you have in your wallet? Gift cards? Those work just fine in the online marketplace. Buy 10 scoops of ice cream and get the 11th free? Make an app for that. The cashier adds a point to your account right from the till. Business cards? There are vCards. Make a good business card manager that detects people trying to give you their info via blutooth. They have apps that already do this sort of thing. Think of all the trees that would be saved if people stopped buying hundreds of business cards at a time and then move and the address is suddenly irrelevant so they throw them all away and order 500 new ones.

So now you are down to nothing but your phone and some cash. That’s it.  Pockets de-cluttered. Everything is more secure than it is now. Everything is more convenient. It’s great. Life is good.

The last big argument that people have with this is, “But what if you lose your phone? Then you are screwed!” To which I say, “bullshit.” If you lose your keys or your wallet, you are screwed. You have to get new copies and if you want real security, you might even have to change your locks. You have to call every credit card company and cancel your cards. You have no way to get cash. You can’t get into your house, or your car. Major pain in the ass. It’ll take weeks to take care of.

OR, you log into your “iKey” account online, click the “I Lost My Phone Button” and go from there. Apple has a really awesome service called Find My iPhone. It uses the GPS to locate your phone. If lost, now it’s found. You can send a text message to your phone that will appear on the home screen telling whoever finds it, how to get it back to you. If you can’t get it back, you can remote wipe it. Then, you go buy a new phone. Shell out a few hundred bucks, sync it with your computer and presto - your life is back in your pocket.

Sure there are still concerns. Apple proprietary bullshit, for instance. There would need to be some sort of universal standards so you could move your iKey account to an Android phone, or a blackberry or whatever. And of course, if you are automating your life, you would need manual over rides. A physical key (hid in a hide a rock in your back yard, say) that overrides all the electronic locking so that A. you can get inside if you leave your phone somewhere else, and B. you can still lock out the velociraptors if the power goes down. There would need to be lots of encryption and security measures in place. All these come from legitimate fears. But we all have all our banking information online. Our credit cards and ID as well. Like it or not, that’s how it is. We might as well harness all this to work for us in our day to day lives.

All the tech exists now someone just needs to put it all together.

Here is a few links of further reading on the matter:

Apple 'iKey" Concept

NFC Technology