Coming Soon: Wallets That Stop You From Overspending

What's Hot


5 Reasons to Shop for a Home in DecemberFamily

Shoppers Boycott Businesses Selling Trump-Branded ProductsBusiness

15 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar StoreMore

Giving Thanks: Why Foreigners Find America AmazingAround The House

New Email Phishing Scam Targets Amazon ShoppersMore

50 Best Gifts Under $25 for Everyone on Your ListFamily

Why Washing Your Turkey Can Make You IllFamily

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

The 7 Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar StoreMore

What the Richest 1 Percent Earns in Every StateFamily

10 Ways to Retire Earlier Than Friends on the Same SalaryGrow

The 10 Best Ways to Blow Your MoneyCredit & Debt

The 50 Hottest Toys of the Past 50 YearsFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Researchers at MIT have invented wallets that buzz, bloat. and lock up – all in an attempt to keep you from going broke.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology counts among its famous alumni Richard P. Feynman (the physicist who helped develop the atom bomb), Paul R. Krugman (who won a 2008 Nobel Prize in economics), and Benjamin Netanyahu (the prime minister of Israel). Now an MIT team of researchers has turned its scientific mind toward a seemingly mundane device: the ordinary wallet.

So they’ve created the Proverbial Wallet. Actually, three of them.

“We have trouble controlling our consumer impulses,” says the MIT Media Lab team on its website. “When we pull a product off the shelf, do we know what our bank account balance is, or whether we’re over budget for the month? Our existing senses are inadequate to warn us.”

So these three prototype wallets warn you in very different ways…

The Bumblebee

The friendliest of the trio is the Bumblebee, which contains a tiny motor that vibrates whenever your bank processes a transaction. How does it know? The wallet connects via Bluetooth to your cellphone, then checks in with your bank. “The intensity of the vibration correlates to the amount of the transaction,” says the team’s report, “Tangible Interface for Financial Awareness” [PDF].

The Mother Bear

Instead of a motor, this wallet contains a small, strong hinge. As your bank account gets smaller, it gets stronger – making it difficult to open. “This concept uses a passive circuit at its heart,” reads the report. “A hinge has been made out of a motor that can be shorted, and the two leaves of the hinge are sown into the sides of a wallet. When the motor is shorted with a small switch, the hinge offers more resistance, making the wallet harder to open or close.”

The Peacock

After buzzing and locking down, what’s left? How about inflating? When you’re flush with cash, the wallet plumps up. When you’re a tad short, the wallet shrinks. “This concept uses a servo embedded in a wallet, which is commanded by a square wave of varying frequency to rotate its arm from parallel to perpendicular to the wallet surface,” MIT explains.

Sadly, none of these wallets are yet available for sale. But the MIT team has grand plans for taking its Proverbial Wallets to the sci-fi levels  using “shape-memory metal” that wouldn’t require hinges and motors.

What will they think of next?

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Ask Stacy: Why Is My Bond Fund Losing Money?

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,728 more deals!