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iBag: Arduino-powered 'smart purse' seals itself shut to stop overspending

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This high-tech handbag aims to help shopaholics curb their spending.

Shopaholics, rejoice - or cry, depending on how much you love to shop.

One enterprising Australian company has developed a high-tech handbag that promises to help curb your spending when self-control just isn't in the cards.

Meet the iBag - a carryall that locks itself automatically when it believes you're on the verge of overspending.

Using an Arduino processor and a real-time clock,'s iBag prototype has been designed to physically deter shoppers from accessing their wallets during the times of day they're most vulnerable to spend.

The purse is also equipped with a GPS chip and LED lights that flash when a shopper gets too close to his or her favourite shops, or, as the company puts it: "when you're entering a danger spending zone."

RFID modules record every swipe of a shopper's wallet leaving the bag and a GSM module can also send text messages to a "responsible other" party, like a husband, wife or parent.

Extreme? Maybe. But according to, a credt card comparison website based in Australia, it may almost be necessary for some.

According to its manufacturers, a SIM card is required to send messages with the iBag. (

A press release issued by the company reveals that Australians hold $49.7 billion worth of credit card debt, with four million credit card accounts going unpaid each month.

"Many Australians are clearly out of control with their credit card spending and don't realize the financial repercussions of impulse spending," reads the product's website. "The iBag is one solution that can help consumers get in control of their finances."

While originally created as a one-off prototype to raise awareness about credit card debt and overspending, so much interest has been shown in the product that the company is now offering it on reserve for $199 AUD (approximately $193 CDN.)

If enough customers register their interest, it may sell both women's and men's versions of the iBag, according to Engadget.

Would you make use of a technology like this to help control your spending? Weigh in below.

Tags: pov

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