Unveils Computerized Handbag to Curb Impulse iBag2

NEW YORK, August 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

- iBag2 uses technology and custom-robotics to deter shoppers from impulsive spending

- Created in response to America's staggering $960.8 billion credit card debt

- New research finds majority (64%) of American credit cardholders make unplanned purchases

Personal finance website[1] today launched the iBag2, America's first programmable handbag designed to help monitor and curb impulsive spending and avoid buyer's remorse.

The iBag2[2] ([3]) features physical cues to remind shoppers of their spending goals whenever they reach for their wallet and it self-locks when they are at their most vulnerable. Powered by an Arduino Uno microprocessor, the handbag features six distinct components:

  • A timer connected to electromagnets that lock the bag according to your most vulnerable spending moments during the course of a day;
  • An RFID system connected to LED lights and vibration motors, which light up blue and vibrate each time your wallet is taken out as a discreet reminder of spending goals;
  • GPS tracking that warns you via amber lights and vibration when you are nearing one of your pre-programmed vulnerable spending zones;
  • The locking function turns on if you proceed to enter your danger zone;
  • A reminder every two hours via yellow lights and vibration that it's time to reapply sunscreen; and
  • A bluetooth tracker Tile that will alert your phone through an app if the bag is a certain distance away from you.

The robotics for the iBag2 were custom-designed by a female-led team of engineers from robotics firm Colmac Robotics Ltd in Ireland, and the bag's couture design is by renowned New York-based fashion designer Geova Rodriguez. created the iBag2 in response to alarming signs that credit card spending is out of control. The total U.S. credit card debt adds up to a staggering $960.8 billion (as of June 2016. Source: U.S. Federal Reserve). There are approximately 247.8 million cardholders in the U.S., with 435,6 million cards in circulation. That's 1.76 cards per cardholder on average (source: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax).  Based on current growth rates, expects the total number of credit card accounts to be back at pre-financial crisis levels (496.1 million cards in 2008) by the second quarter of 2018.

A commissioned survey of 6,838 American adults conducted in May 2016 by global research provider pureprofile found the majority of American credit cardholders - 64% or a total of 158.6 million people - make unplanned purchases with their credit cards each month. On average, they make over seven (7.35) per month. Millennials (aged 18-34) are the biggest impulse spenders, making 14 unplanned purchases per month, compared to eight for Generation Y (aged 35-54) and four for Baby Boomers (55+).

Mrs Hutchison says the iBag2 was created to draw attention to the serious issue about credit card debt and consumerism in America.

"While the iBag2 will help you be more conscious of your spending, it's only a short-term solution. Cardholders need to understand how credit cards work, what features they have and how they differ between cards so they can find a card to suit their needs.

The iBag2 is an upgrade of the original iBag launched in Australia in 2014 ....Read more

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