Wallets are becoming more and more redundant these days as smartphones increasingly replace cash and cards, but the Volterman is the latest attempt to keep the wallet relevant in the 21st century. Aside from acting as a powerbank and Wi-Fi hotspot, the smart wallet also incorporates some nifty security features in case you are struck by a pilfering pickpocket.
Pairing a wallet with a smartphone, or adding GPS-tracking capacities, are not new innovations in the world of smart wallets. Volterman incorporates both features into its design with your wallet or phone signaling an alarm if you forget one of the other. GPS tracking also lets you follow your wallet in real time if it gets snatched or lost.
The most novel part of Volterman is the tiny camera built into it. If your wallet is stolen and enters "lost mode", the camera takes sneaky snaps of anyone who opens it. The pictures are immediately sent to your paired smartphone, meaning you can not only track where the wallet is in real time, but also watch the thief go through your stuff. This is made possible by a SIM card embedded within the wallet, which also allows the phone to be tracked via the Volterman website.
While the data charges for the GPS tracking and sending of photos to the Volterman server are covered in the purchase price, the wallet can also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot, which costs extra. The company says the wallet will automatically connect to local networks in 98 countries, but at the moment the exact tariffs from country to country are unclear. However, Volterman claims the charges will generally cheaper than data roaming, with early estimates of around US$15 per 1 GB.
Rounding out the list of functions is a built in power bank that can charge your smartphone, either with a cable or wirelessly if your device has that capability.
The Volterman comes in three different sizes: a small cardholder model (US$98) with 2,000-mAh powerbank, a conventional bifold wallet ($135) with 2,600-mAh powerbank, or a larger travel size ($157) designed to hold more cards, a passport and with a 5,000-mAh powerbank.
Extra add ons include a wireless charger to keep the wallet powered up ($29) or your initials engraved into the leather ($19).
The subject of a new Indiegogo campaign, the Volterman smart wallet has already smashed its initial goal, so the above early-bird prices may not last for too much longer. As with all crowdfunded campaigns there is a degree of risk on the buyer's side but the company does claim to have already developed a working prototype and has slated delivery of the first orders by Christmas this year, if all goes to plan.
Take a look at the Volterman campaign video below.