The Seattle design studio Artefact Group has a neat design concept for a way to meld wearable tech with financial management. The Token wristband — which is strictly conceptual and not something you’ll be able to buy anytime soon — presents hardware and interface ideas that simplify the processing of spending and tracking money.
Think of it as Coin rethought. And since Coin itself isn’t shipping quite yet, that’s something of an accomplishment.
Wallets, though highly functional and adaptable, are not particularly convenient. Visual designer Craig Erickson rethought the functions surrounding the function of paying for stuff. Rather than making you dig through your pockets or purse, as you now need to to produce cash or a credit card, the Token lets you pay electronically with a few taps on a wrist band.
One of their ideas is a fingerprint scanner for security. Another might be something like the Bionym Nymi, rendering the device useless unless it’s worn by an authorized user.
As with any design concept, the Token is hardly a finished thing. It’s not clear how it would work with EMV terminals (chip-and-PIN systems used pretty much everywhere but the United States.) The UI as presented is probably not perfect — and it requires some technology to be invented.
But to use, the Token already fulfills one of the design goals that Sonny Vu of Misfit talks about: it’s a device that you’d turn around and go home for if you forgot it. And there aren’t many of those.