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Smart Card – wallet sized charger, GPS tracker, card reader, portable hard drive, SOS alert…did we miss anything?


smartcard2 Smart Card   wallet sized charger, GPS tracker, card reader, portable hard drive, SOS alert...did we miss anything?

Inventor Gene Aikins wrote to us recently, asking whether we would mention his new crowdfunding project, Smart Card. We wrote back, explaining that we’re reluctant to promote crowdfunding project nowadays unless they offer some significant universal value, and are likely to actually get made, at which point we expected him to go away and leave us alone. He didn’t. His response, which basically offered up the ‘small inventor’ angle, was eloquent enough to get us thinking about this whole crowdfunding scenario one more time.

Along with many of our peers in the tech reporting world, we’re caught between two stools in terms of crowdfunding projects. On the one hand it’s tempting to feature cool projects with great ideas, but on the other we feel we have a duty to avoid serving up endless numbers of vaporware, which may or may not get made, or if made will end up significantly less featured than was promised in the slick marketing video.

smartcard3 Smart Card   wallet sized charger, GPS tracker, card reader, portable hard drive, SOS alert...did we miss anything?

So we err on the side of caution, and have made it a rule not to feature crowdfunded stuff in general. It’s safer that way. We’re happy to feature the products once they get made, or if the facts (and team!) point to an almost certain chance of an on-time delivery with the full feature set. We’re sticking to that rule. In Gene’s case, we’re going to give him the benefit of the doubt, despite the only evidence of a real product being a dodgy prototype image, because he has already successfully delivered something similar eight months ago. So here is the new product on offer, and slated for delivery in November 2014.

thesmartcard 1 Smart Card   wallet sized charger, GPS tracker, card reader, portable hard drive, SOS alert...did we miss anything?

The Smart Card comes in black or aluminum finishes, and crams so much technology inside a wallet friendly format that we’re starting to believe that elves really work in Santa’s Grotto. You’ll find the full feature set here, but let’s just say it does a lot.

  • Wallet sized charger (1600mAh battery)
  • Data transfer and sync via cable between devices
  • MicroSD reader
  • Emergency hard drive for storage up to 128GB
  • 911 Emergency SOS auto dialer
  • Flashlight
  • Bluetooth leash to avoid losing phone or other BT devices
  • Two way tracking system via smartphone app

Promotional prices start at $59 for the 8GB storage version, and work their way up to $129 for the 128GB version, which is $30 off of retail when they eventually hit the shelves. His project is already 283% of target, so it’s definitely on track to ship, hopefully by the promised November date. We wish him well (as we do with every genuine, innovative crowdfunding project).

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



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