Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Debit card displays balance

Embedded solar grid in debit card powers LCD display of balance
 
(+3, -3)
  [vote for,
against]

Put a solar collector on a debit card that could read a flat flash memory chip and power the display of the balance in an LCD or electronic paper type display. Whenever you pull it out, it collects light, reads the memory, and displays the balance in a large font.
pelarson, Dec 09 2004

NACHA http://nacha.org/
NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association [reensure, Dec 09 2004]

Focus Magazine http://www.focusmag...uk/currentIssue.asp
This link will be out of date when the next issue comes out. If the issue you are directed to isn't 145, then click "Back Issues" and select issue 145. [[ sctld ], Dec 10 2004]

[link]






       This is nice but there would be problems with preauthorizations, checks, service charges/POS transaction fees, and other things that can occur in between card-swipes.
contracts, Dec 09 2004
  

       The assumption is that the solar grid and display would not make it any thicker than debit cards are now. Certainly miniaturization has reached that stage. E paper display would obviate liquid.
pelarson, Dec 09 2004
  

       Cute concept, but it might be more readily implemented using a technology somewhat similar to CD-RW's: material is heated via laser or other powerful light and then allowed to cool quickly or slowly so it settles into one of two states. The card would just need to have the right sort of material embedded; no electronics necessary.   

       Of course, the 'writers' would probably be horrendously expensive, but for some "dedicated" styles of debit cards this could work.
supercat, Dec 09 2004
  

       Yes. I like that. Starbuck's cards?
pelarson, Dec 09 2004
  

       Focus magazine had an article in this month's issue concerning identity cards, and one of the features mentioned was that it would carry spare change, and display in a little TFT or LCD (i can't remember which) screen in the top right. Other features included vital medical information, a picture, and retinal scan data. Are you a subscriber?
[ sctld ], Dec 10 2004
  

       I am not a subscriber. What is Focus magazine? Got links?
pelarson, Dec 10 2004
  

       Focus magazine is a Popular Science and Technology monthly mpublication. It's quite broad with it's topics, from anthropology to chemistry, to pyrotechnology. It's british and contains a listing of good science events and show throughout the country. It also has two very good puzzle pages. I've added a link.
[ sctld ], Dec 10 2004
  

       my favourite mag!   

       says - recent strides forward in creating 'electronic paper' which is flexible yet displays a digital image, might even allow a small balance display to appear on the card.   

       its a 'smart' ID card wrapping password, national insurance and driving licence all in one apparently.
po, Dec 10 2004
  
      
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