The next time you go shopping for a wallet, think about how nice it would be to replace all of that plastic your carrying with one card. That’s precisely what iCache will allow you to do, once it’s released. The iCache keeps a copy of every card you have programmed into the device and will program the dynamic magnetic strip when you select that particular card.
How It Works:
The iCache will most likely be available first through banks, then through retail locations. After you receive your iCache, you have to register your finger print and the cards you would like to have programmed into the device by plugging it into your PC through a USB cable. The software will prompt you for your card numbers and expiration dates which will then be saved on the iCache device itself. Then, when you reach the cash register, place your finger on the print scanner, navigate to the card to want to use and activate it. The magnetic strip will be programmed for that card, will eject out of the iCache card holder and can then be used to swipe at the terminal. Here is a video I found that goes into a little more detail in to how this thing works.
You can’t talk about the iCache without highlighting the aspect of security. If you lose the device, it will be no good considering you need to use your finger print before it can be activated. According to iCache, if the device is tampered with in anyway, the data will be permanently deleted. If you choose to store all of your credit card data online with iCache, you can simply plug in your iCache device into your PC and the data will automatically be restored. Notice how I said CHOOSE. Many people are worried that they HAVE TO store their card data online with iCache which is not the case. It will just be more of a pain to restore the data if you choose not to have them store your data.
Which Cards Can You Use:
iCache states that technically, you should be able to program any card that contains a mag stripe. That is, any card with a black magnetic strip that would use to swipe at pay terminals. This includes credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, ATM cards, loyalty cards, gas cards, give cards and gift certificate cards. It will be awesome to finally take all of those LOYALTY cards off of my keyring and put them into this device.
When Will It Be Available:
iCache is aiming towards a soft release towards the 2nd quarter of 2008 with a more widespread release near the end of the year. There is no word yet on how much this device will cost but if it’s $100.00 or cheaper, I’m going to pick one up.
I am one of the ones that are extremely excited to see something like this coming down the pike. I’ll admit that I gave my dad this idea a year or so ago. I asked him, what if you could take all of these damn loyalty cards and combine them into one? He said that was a great idea but then, we would probably need to convince retailers to do a major overhaul on their cash registers as their would need to be some way to support the card. I’m happy to see that iCache looks to have gotten around the problem by not changing the dynamics of the card itself.
I’ve checked around the blogosphere and quite a few people believe that giving all of your data information to one company is a recipe for disaster. All it would take is for someone to hack their database or website and the game would be over. I’m pretty sure iCache has safeguards in place such as high bitrate encyption to make that data useless without the decryption keys. It’s also worth noting that you don’t HAVE TO give them your data. You can keep all of that information local.
It seems as though iCache has figured out a way to increase security while at the same time, increasing the convenience factor. I hope they see this post because I for one would love to be a beta tester for this product.
That’s my take on iCache. Now give me yours.