In the day and age, owning multiple cards–credit, debit, loyalty, et al.–is just a given. What’s really inconvenient is having to bring them everywhere all the time and risk losing one or two of them. A team called iCache recognizes this problem, and here at CTIA 2012 presented an elegant solution: the iCache Geode. It’s essentially an iPhone case that digitizes and securely stores all the cards you own, so you can use them when you’re out while leaving the original cards stowed safely at home.
Here’s how it works: The iCache Geode case includes a fingerprint scanner, a physical stand-in card called the GeoCard, a magnetic stripe reader and an E Ink display. There’s an app and a scanner attachment that’s part of the system, too. You use the scanner to quickly digitize your cards and save them, while the dedicated app designates the method of payment and programs it into the GeoCard. Say you’re paying at CVS and you’d like to use your loyalty card on site as well. Within the companion app, you select the particular credit or debit card you’ve earlier stored, then pull the GeoCard out of the case and tap it hard against a solid surface. The card becomes active and is loaded up with the proper info, while the loyalty barcode is displayed on the E Ink screen on the back of the case. Use your GeoCard normally, and let the scanner read the E Ink display to apply your discount.
iCache has taken some extra measures to help you feel secure about its product as well. In case you ever lose your iPhone, you don’t need to worry (aside from fretting about procuring another phone, that is). Your card details are stored in the Geode housing itself, not on the app, so thieves can’t break in and squander your wealth. Also, when you fire up the app, it’ll prompt you for a fingerprint scan to make sure you are who you say you are. Finally, for good measure, the card programming lasts a finite period of time, which you yourself have to set.
Stay tuned for a full review of the iCache Geode as soon as we get our hands on a unit.