With the demise of COIN, acquired by Fitbit, we are down to three universal smart cards: Swyp, Stratos and Plastc. Of these three, Plastc seems to hold the most promise changing little from its original design. Like Apple, they decided to take the road least traveled, focusing on building an actual quality product rather than being the first to ship.
Keep in mind that there is a delicate balance between creating a great product and shipping. Not every customer is willing to wait too long.
What Is New With Plastc?
Not wanting to keep us in the dark, the crew over at Plastc burned some serious midnight oil rebuilding their wireless charger concept into something that is more agreeable to our mobile power needs and portable. Plastc made the move to combine their Bluetooth card reader with their card charger.
What Is The Benefit?
Instead of having two items to keep track of, you have one. I know you may think that losing the single key to your digitally-charged happiness might not be what you want, but this bad boy has a little something extra; wireless card reader and portable charger.
Yes, now you can take your power with you. No need to look for an outlet. Proprietary? Sadly yes, but a fair compromise.
A specialized battery meant that we had to innovate on the industry standard for charging devices. For us, there were two primary challenges with battery charging. First, was optimizing the charge cycle to maximize battery life (i.e. the number of times a rechargeable battery can be recharged). Second, since the battery is small and custom we had to implement overcharge protection externally to prevent the battery from overheating and eventually exploding, which would be…bad. These were fun challenges to overcome and we ended up creating a proprietary charger that was built to the exact specifications needed to power Plastc Card.Plastc
This new combination is the next best thing since Taco Bell and Pizza Hut merged their dining experience. It’s like Voltron, but in our pocket. I look forward to getting my hands on a Plastc card and I hope they add some type of receipt management like Swyp or partner with a few existing apps. In the meantime, I am content to using my COIN card. What are you using? COIN? Stratos? Apple or Samsung Pay?