When the Apple juggernaut rumbles in your direction, it’s usually wise to get out of the way. The folks at Plastc have been working on their all-in-one payment and loyalty card for some time, though, so Apple Pay isn’t going to blow them off course. Good thing, too — the Plastc card can replace an entire wallet, and work with any payment terminal out of the box.
The principle of Plastc is pretty simple. It holds the details of up to 20 credit, loyalty and identity cards, and it shapeshifts to replicate each card as required. But the tech used to make this happen is far more complex. In order to manage your inventory of cards, the Plastc connects to your phone via Bluetooth. To make payments, it has a EMV chip, as required by modern card readers, and a NFC transmitter for contacless transactions. To cope with secure entry systems, it also has a RFID chip.
The killer feature, however, is an e-ink screen, which is used for three key purposes: selecting the card you want to use, entering a pin code to gain access, and then displaying the card details (e.g. number, expiry date). If the Plastc is connected to your phone, this screen will display your balance, too.
Remarkably, all of the above is squeezed into a credit card of average proportions, along with a battery that lasts 30 days. It recharges wirelessly, as well, soaking up juice while sitting on the supplied base station.
It’s an impressive product, for sure, and it will no doubt have many folks interested. Sadly, it won’t be shipping until summer 2015, and the pre-order price looks a little high at $155. But if it can avoid the delays and problems that Coin — a similar card that was due to launch earlier this year — has suffered, Plastc may just prove too tempting for early adopters to resist.
Source: The Verge
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