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When I saw the name "Woolet" on Kickstarter, immediately my mind went to some kind of novelty, knitted woolen wallet that would be so comical it would almost (but not really...) be worth owning. After I looked closer, and got over my disappointment at the lack of a comedy moment, I realised the Woolet couldn't be further from such primitive ideas, but perhaps instead, the wallet of the future.
You may have spotted my article last week about Where's Wallet, a kickstarter wallet that contains a tracking device to ensure you never again lose your wallet. If you didn't read that article, I'll sum up my thoughts on it in a sentence for you: I really like the concept and idea, but my big two concerns are what happens when the battery runs out in 10 months time, and that I don't particularly like the design of the options offered. Well the Woolet seems to have solved both these problems, and more.
The Woolet is the latest in a new breed of smart wallets which contains a smart tracking device which links to your smartphone, allowing you to always know the location of your wallet. With the contents of our wallets becoming increasingly important and a hassle to cancel if they go missing, this kind of solution to the lost wallet is a more than welcome innovation.
The Woolet’s internals include the latest Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy module. This allows Woolet to communicate with users’ smartphones. The dedicated app will alert the user when they move too far from their Woolet – they can specify a range up to 99 feet (30 meters). In addition to a sound notification on your phone, the app allows you to locate the missing object by ringing its built-in microphone so you can locate it easily. If truly lost, the owner can simply activate the crowd detection feature so other Woolet users can scan for the wallet.
The Woolet comes in two styles: a brown suede, or a black calf leather as shown below above. It contains 4 credit card slots, a banknote pocket as well as a special hidden pocket (which looks suspiciously like the Bellroy note sleeve one, but hey, that's not a bad wallet to be copying) for coins or other valuables. Woolet have said that all wallets will be handmade by Polish artisans skilled in making exceptional-quality wallets.
Well, there are now a few different options out there in terms of a smart wallet, and this will likely continue to increase as this technology catches on. What really sets the Woolet apart is the promise of a self-charging battery and the style it delivers.
The self charging battery (assuming it works as well as promised) is a real game changer. My big problem with previous smart wallets, and part of the reason I haven't yet converted to one is that I don't like the idea of spending a lot of money on a wallet that after 10 months or so will no longer perform the purpose I bought it for. I look forward to seeing if Woolet really has solved this problem.
The other main reason I personally haven't got myself a smart wallet yet, is that all the over offerings I have seen have in my opinion been pretty bulky, or not particularly good looking. Now, this is clearly a matter of opinion to some extent, but I'm a big fan of the look of the Woolet, and the high quality leather used.
Clearly, these benefits come at something of a premium, with the Woolet being at the higher end in terms of price range. The lowest price currently available on Kickstarter for Woolet is $99 - which is still a limited time offer - so you'll need to ask yourself whether a smart wallet is really worth this much to you, but if it is, then the Woolet promises to be a pretty good option.
The Woolet is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter and has already far exceeded its target (by over 400% at time of writing), so if they can deliver on the high promises here, it looks like it could well be set to become a huge crowdfunding success.