Lifestyle and Emerging Technology In Plain English

From the ‘so simple why didn’t I think of it’ category

A friend of mine poin­ted me to this bril­liant post (via iPhone Cent­ral)

The concept is simple; Scan the front and back of all your bar­coded mem­ber­ship cards, and carry them around in your iPhone.

To test it out I went to the local hard­ware store and asked the girl
behind the counter if she could scan the bar­code from my phone. The
first look I got was pure amazement. To her the phys­ical card was
trans­formed into a pic­ture on a shiny device. On top of that the
bar­code was scanned suc­cess­fully. The res­ult; a slightly con­fused girl
and a happy me.

My take: I’m going to try this on my lib­rary card and see if this works on my Palm Pilot T|X.

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3 Responses to From the ‘so simple why didn’t I think of it’ category

  1. Takonme says:

    From the “so simple I think there may be more to it than that” cat­egory: I can see using those pro­mo­tional cards: gro­cery cards, air­miles card, store dis­count card, they are an abso­lute pain to carry around with you. And truly for no other reason than for them to pre­tend to give you a dis­count as long as the num­ber is clear they should take a scan off a phone.

    But as for the other cards like the swim card or lib­rary card, call me old fash­ioned but I run the risk of los­ing things lately and to lose it all at once in a itouch/ipod/palm would be just a bit of a pain not even count­ing the ID theft aspect. As for the cards that count, they aren’t all in one spot for me right now so maybe I lose my swim card, no biggy.

    Nice idea for the other stuff though!

  2. Adam Snider says:

    I don’t have an iPhone, but if I did, I’d do this. Besides, worst case scen­ario, you can just read the num­ber to them and they can enter it by hand.

  3. bgrier says:

    @Takonme, @Adam,

    Both good points. Los­ing the device would be trauma enough, but los­ing the cards stored on the device would be worse.

    I can’t see this work­ing for Credit Cards or Debit cards though. They need a mag-stripe…but for any­thing with a bar­code it should work.

    Must remem­ber to test it.