Putting together different technologies has created the latest and greatest identity theft protection device, the iWallet. By bringing together biometric identification and bluetooth technology (linked directly to your cell phone,) your personal information is about as secure as it gets. This is pretty much the same thing as carrying a personal safe everywhere you go.
Bulletproof Your Identity
The iWallet takes a fiberglass shell and wraps it in bulletproof Kevlar. It comes in green, black, silver and gold patterns, although as they increase in popularity it’s easy to see you will be able to get one in your choice of colors. The iWallet has a fingerprint reader to make it easy to open for the right person, and impossible for anyone else. (I haven’t seen any claims that the iWallet will stop a bullet, but poly carbon wrapped in Kevlar sounds like a safe bet.)
The feature that has everyone talking is the ability to pair your wallet with your cell phone through a blue tooth connection. When your wallet gets too far from your cell phone, both devices let you know with an audible alarm. This will probably keep you from the leaving it at the restaurant, or walking out of the house and forgetting one or the other. Of course, if you forget them both, I don’t know if that will help very much.
The iWallet web site says “Stolen wallets and physical documents accounted for 43% of all identity theft, while online methods accounted for only 11%.” I haven’t seen that statistic before, but it’s definitely in keeping with the statistics I have seen for 2008 and 2009.
The web site provides free software to install on your computer to manage the fingerprint identification on the iWallet, and there are applications for blackberry and iPhone as well.
This is the second major breakthrough we have seen that makes use of a cell phone in the war against identity theft. (Finsphere has created an instant notification program as well.) It should certainly come as no surprise, though, since we all carry cell phones today. Just putting the technology to the right use will take us a long way to ward stemming the flow of identity theft.
The press release says the iWallet will even protect against RFID theft, which will become critical as more and more Americans move to the Real ID program.
Also lacking from the site with any sort of guarantee that the iWallet will keep you from being a victim of identity theft if your wallet is stolen, although they do have a one year limited warranty against defective parts. For the price, as much as $600 (and for an additional $100 you can have it engraved with up to three words,) it may even be a product replacement guarantee during that year.
Of course, if the product doesn’t work properly and you still become a victim of identity theft, $700 will be the least of your worries.