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iCache Geode digital wallet hands-on (video)

iCache Geode digital wallet hands-on (video)
Sean Cooper
Sean Cooper|@sean_cooper|May 10, 2012 1:22 PM

The iCache Geode was easily the most impressive use of technology that we saw during CTIA 2012. It's the epitome of how a fantastic tech idea can be translated to real-world use in a very classy and clever way. At its heart it is extremely simple: take all your existing credit, debit and loyalty cards, save them in a secure way and be able to use any of them without actually having the original cards handy. The system is comprised of a housing for the iPhone coupled with an app, an E Ink display on the rear, a fingerprint scanner, the GeoCard, and a magnetic stripe reader that is capable of quickly reading in your card details and saving them. Using the Geode is a two-step process -- scan all your cards into the device with an included scanner attachment, then using the iPhone app select your method of payment and the GeoCard in the housing is instantly programmed. Pop the card out, tap it on a solid surface to activate it and spend your money. Loyalty cards are equally easy to use: select one of them in the app and its barcode is written to the E Ink display on the Geode's rear surface.

Of course iCache has considered the security implications and has addressed them in a few different ways. The iPhone doesn't store any of your card details as they're kept in the housing itself. On launch the app does a hardware check to be sure nothing's been tampered with, asks for a fingerprint scan and the card programming only lasts for a user-defined period of time after you've tapped it on the table. Click on through for a video demo of the whole ride.

Terrence O'Brien contributed to this report.