Smartwallit - Review

Q: when is a Smartwallit, not a smart wallet? A: when it's a Smartwallit.

Back in April, The Fowndry was promised it would 'never lose its wallet again' after backing this handy looking gadget's Kickstarter campaign. More truthfully, the legend should have read 'abandon all hope (and $50), ye who pledge here...'

The Smartwallit is a smartphone 'anti-loss accessory' that connects with an iPhone 4s, iPhone 5 or Android phone with Bluetooth 4.0 support. The idea being that if your wallet and smartphone become separated an alarm on each will alert you to the fact. So far so ordinary but the USP that promised to elevate this gadget above any one of a thousand other separation anxiety devices, is that it would also keep track of where and when you flash the cash, with an option to record the amount of each transaction.

The Smartwallit arrived yesterday and seemed superficially to tick all the boxes; fairly nice if uninspiring packaging and a glossy user manual that only hinted at second language syntax. Early signs were quite encouraging too... after installing the app., the device paired first time and was easy to configure.

But then it all headed South. Initially the Smartwallit and phone would realise that they were no longer in close proximity and alert us to the fact... although the minimum 'stray' distance of 5m was more like 10m. However, after 3 or 4 attempts, instead of the alarm being raised, the phone would simply drop the Bluetooth connection once it was out of range.

Additionally, although the original Kickstarter blurb promised... "to allow for a more accurate hunt, the app will also show you the distance between your phone and your wallet" unfortunately this functionality seems to be missing from the final build.

Switching to see if the wallet monitoring feature was also compromised, we weren't disappointed. Using a rudimentary light sensor, the Smartwallit is supposed to recognise and register when you open your bi-fold to pay for something. The first time it did but placed us some several hundred metres away from our location. The second time it managed what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity but thereafter it seemed to lapse into a stupor and it's one unblinking eye appeared unable to differentiate between the Stygian gloom of a jean pocket and a bright sun-dappled office.

Still looking on the bright side, if I ever need to shim a wonky table...


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