There’s a lot of allure for me in being able to get rid of my wallet. I’ve got a George Costanza-style wallet that is loaded with credit cards, loyalty cards, membership cards, rewards cards, just a bunch of stuff that I don’t really use every day, but think I need to have it handy just in case I do use it because I know that once I take something out of my wallet, I’ll find myself in a situation where I wish I had it with me.
The iCache Geode is an iPhone case on steroids that aims to solve a lot of the problems of having too much plastic in your wallet. The Geode is now available to purchase after wrapping up a massively successful Kickstarter campaign several months ago (the inventors raised over $350,000 for the project.)
On the surface, the Geode is just an iPhone case, but its real value comes from the programmable credit-card style card that sits within the case. You essentially use the Geode app to insert the information about all of your credit cards, and then whenever you’re at the store and want to use one of your cards, you just select the card from the app, it writes the card’s information to the Geode card, and you pull out the card and swipe.
What about loyalty cards and other cards that have a bar code and not a magnetic strip, you ask? You can take a photo of your different cards’ bar codes, and the Geode will render the bar codes on its electronic ink display on the back of the case.
And your next question is probably, “how do I know this is all going to be secure?” Well, the Geode case also has a fingerprint scanner on it, which is the only way to access your information. Also, the data that is written to the programmable card will time out after a certain period, so no one can just steal your card out of its case and go buy luxurious goods on your dime.
All the features sound awesome, and at $199, while pricey for an iPhone case, there might be enough value here for some to dive right in. TechCrunch wrote about the release of the Geode on Friday, and while their review was overall positive, there were some interesting concerns about the Geode brought up in the comments section. The chief concerns were whether merchants would be reluctant to accept non-branded credit cards (that is, take the Geode programmable card) given their concerns about fraud and theft, and the second big concern surrounded whether Apple could make this type of product obsolete either through a change in hardware design (think eliminating the traditional-style dock) or software.