When a new Kickstarter launches for an everyday item with (Bluetooth/NFC/WiFi/solar panels/CNC'd aluminium unibody — delete as appropriate) capabilities on board, I'm normally first in the line of jeering sceptics. But a wallet with built-in Bluetooth actually makes a lot of sense. Pass the Kool-Aid, please.
Woolet is a fairly classy-looking leather wallet with a Bluetooth chipset and a speaker built in. The idea is to buzz your phone if the wallet gets too far away, like if you've left it behind, or someone's stolen it. There's also the option to have your wallet make noise, so you can track it down in the disorganized mess that masquerades as a home office.
The only thing that gives me any cause for hesitation is the project's description of self-charging batteries. According to the Kickstarter, that means either kinetic or body-heat charging technology, meaning you'll never have to plug the wallet in. That's vital — because, honestly, do you really want to have to charge your friggin' wallet? — but it's also a difficult trick to pull off successfully. Still, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy chips only need a sip of electricity to work, so with any luck, it's an achievable goal.
At $99, it's a reasonable price for a leather wallet with some smarts. You can probably make your own version from a standard wallet and a commercially available Bluetooth fob, but there's something pleasantly simple about Woolet's integration. Someone stop me before I get into the 3-D printing drones. [Kickstarter]
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