Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Fund this: Smart Card is a high-tech multitool for your wallet

​You've heard of smartwatches and smartphones? A new Indiegogo project promises to smarten up your wallet.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

The Power Company

I'm guessing there's extra room in your wallet these days. Family photos, reward cards, maybe even cash and credit cards have migrated to your smartphone. So why not fill that space with a multitool?

Not the screwdriver/bottle-opener variety, mind you, but something that can keep your smartphone charged, connected, and more.

The Power Company's Smart Card packs a wealth of tech tools into a device that's thin and light enough to ride in your pocket, and maybe even your wallet. It's an Indiegogo-based venture in search of at least $16,000 in funding, and currently about 35 percent of the way there.

The card is roughly the length and width of a credit card, but measures 5.2mm thick. Within that slim frame lies a 1,600mAh rechargeable battery, which is surprising (and surprisingly good) given that many card-size mobile chargers provide half or even one-quarter that capacity.

And here's where it gets interesting: The Smart Card has two stowaway flex cables that measure a full 8 inches when extended. One end is standard USB for plugging into a PC or charger. The other is Micro-USB -- but the card comes with four additional connectors you can attach as needed: Apple 30-pin, Apple Lightning, Mini-USB, and e-cigarette.

The Smart Card comes with connectors to accommodate whatever device(s) you own. The Power Company

With the exception of the 30-pin, which is too large, it doesn't matter which connector you use -- the cable will still tuck away inside the card.

So with the whole cable/battery arrangement, you get supplemental power and on-the-go syncing. But the Smart Card is also a flash drive, stocked with anywhere from 8-128GB of storage in the form of a microSD card. That card will come with preloaded software for quick and easy PC backup, according to The Power Company. But you can also swap in your own cards for additional storage.

Other features include an LED flashlight, 911 autodial, and a smartphone tracking/leash option courtesy of Bluetooth and a companion app. What's more, The Power Company is developing locator tags called Smarties that you could attach to your keychain, luggage, a pet's collar, and so on, effectively creating a three-way location system.

Early backers can score an 8GB Smart Card for $39 (roughly £23 in the UK and AU$42, though it's an extra $10 for international shipping), a 16GB version for $49 (£29, AU$52), and so on. Those prices are $30 off expected retail, and pretty attractive for such a versatile device. You can also get a Smartie for $19 if you're interested. Estimated delivery for both products is October.

Your thoughts?