The Credit Card as Gizmo

By  |  Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 4:22 pm

People are always talking about credit-card-sized gadgets–remember Xircom’s REX PDA? Here at DEMO, however, a startup called Dynamics is showing credit-card-sized gizmos that really are credit cards.

The company has developed technologies for packing PC-like technologies–including buttons, displays, lights, batteries, and digital smarts–into credit cards that otherwise look and feel like the ones in your wallet. But one thing about these credit cards that’s perfectly typical is that they’ve got magnetic stripes on the back. That’s so the cards are compatible with the millions of mag-stripe readers out there, rather than requiring merchants to invest in new, higher-tech processing terminals. (They can reprogram the stripes on the fly depending on your input.)

What does all the tech inside these cards do? The one in the image above makes you press buttons to enter part of the credit-card number each time you use it, so it’s worthless if it gets lost or stolen. Another variant is actually two credit cards in one, such as a personal card and a business one–you press a button to choose which one you’re using right before the card gets swiped.

Dynamics hopes to license its technologies to big credit-card providers who’d like to make their products safer, more flexible, and cooler; it also sees applications for other wallet-sized cards such as gift cards and retailer affinity cards. Looks pretty nifty to me–VentureBeat ¬†has more details.

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  1. Maria Burch Says:

    This looks interesting. I hope there are more details about this new stuff.