Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Money Machine

A handheld device for managing money, including checkbook, credit card, etc.
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Checkbooks are definitely old-technology compared with credit cards and PayPal. However, they will probably be around for a while longer. So combining them into the digital economy would be useful, especially for balancing one's checkbook.

The Swedish company Anoto has developed a method for printing a grid of dots on paper. The dots are slightly offset from an exact grid in a specific pattern, allowing the dots to uniquely identify their location. Combining this paper with a pen they have developed that records these dots allows the user to produce a paper and electronic copy simultaneously. This is similar to the CrossPad and the other systems that record pen position, but the Anoto version knows what page you are writing on, e.g. the "Date" section on check number 549. The pen is BlueTooth enabled, allowing it to communicate with the Palm in the checkbook cover. This would allow you to write a check and have it entered in your computer without any extra effort.

Add a wireless connection to the device, and the abilities increase dramatically. By linking to the bank, the Palm could provide up to the minute data on how much you have in your account, and warn you when you are about to write a check for more than this amount. It could remind you of what bills you need to pay before your next paycheck, and remind you of any other expenses that may be coming up. Of course, the Palm could do all the features it already does as well.

Adding a BlueTooth transmitter to the Palm, the user could use the system in place of a credit card at stores or possibly online, with the same warnings and financial advice. It could charge things to various credit cards that you choose, replacing the multitude of ATM/Credit/Phone Cards in your wallet.

Yes, security is a problem with all wireless devices. It would need to be addressed before I'd feel comfortable using the more advanced features. However, the advantages of having a checkbook and credit card combined with a Palm, all without effort on my part, seem like an attractive proposition. Additionally, by charging a small transaction on each fee, banks and credit card companies could give away the device for a small amount.
MuddDog, Jul 10 2001

Anoto http://www.anoto.com
The Swedish Papermaker. Affiliated with Ericsson. [MuddDog, Jul 10 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

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       Wow. Nobody's said anything. I'd like to know what people think of this one. Good, bad, anything. The silence is eerie.
MuddDog, Jul 12 2001
  

       I was hoping this had something to do with Oscar, the amazing money making machine, that I have heard so much about from commercials during my favorite talk radio shows.
Op, Jul 12 2001
  

       It sounds completely plausible to me. Contact a patent attorney.
snarfyguy, Jul 12 2001
  

       And I'm getting really tired of Bluetooth.
StarChaser, Jul 12 2001
  

       I wonder if it would be easier to just add a small thermal (or inkjet) printer to a palmpilot. Then you tell it, "I want a check for $50 made out to Bob's Grocery", it prints it and enters it in the ledger, and you sign it.   

       The store could even have a small IR transmitter (or bluetooth, I suppose) on the register that would beam the info to your check-printing-palm-thing. You'd confirm that it looked ok, then hit print. This way the palm could get a copy of the itemized receipt and eventually give it to your bookkeeping application.
wiml, Jul 12 2001
  

       [waugs] you could use a pocket PC if you wanted [starchaser] How can you be tired of bluetooth? It hasn't done anything yet. [wiml] That's a great idea! I really like the idea of the Palm getting a copy of the receipt.
MuddDog, Jul 13 2001
  

       Cheques (Checks) are such old hat - why bother having some fancy tech solution to support a payment mean which s near-obsolete (everywhere except in the US)?
hippo, Jul 13 2001
  

       MuddDog: I know it hasn't done anything yet, that's part of the problem. It gets dragged out for every sort of communication thing. If it ever gets off the ground, I will avoid like the plague anything that uses it as long as I can just because I'm so tired of hearing of it. And custard, and genetic modification, and nanites/nanotech...
StarChaser, Jul 13 2001
  
      
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