The BlingNation Blinger personal ATM device was unveiled at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This portable handheld device is basically like having an ATM in the palm of your hand. It will accomplish a variety of personal banking tasks such as money transfers, pay bills, request money from other people, and more.
Blinger portable ATM device
I came across the Blinger handheld device while browsing the FCC website, and it seems like a cool product. The Blinger is about the size of a PDA, at 4.13 by 2.36 by 0.76 inches. It features a 2-inch monochrome LCD (no color) display, and a rechargeable battery that is rated for 5 days of stand-by power. It's a pretty basic looking device, and it's not quite pocket-sized - although it will fit in a purse, bag, or jacket pocket with ease.
Blinger with AC adaptor
As I previously mentioned, the Blinger is a sort-of "portable ATM". It will provide the user with real-time personal banking - In other words, the transactions are instant. It works by inserting a magnetic BlingNation card into the back of the device, and then you enter your 4-digit personal code to log-in. The magnetic card can be a credit card/ATM card, but it has to be activated for the Blinger service. The card and the 4-digit access code provide some essential security for your bank account, so that others cannot access your bank information if your Blinger is ever stolen.
Screenshots of the Blinger's display - shows some of the functions
The Blinger idea seems like a good idea, but whether or not it catches on with the public is yet to be seen. Probably the biggest downfall of the Blinger is that you are charged a monthly fee to use the service. I don't know how many people will want to pay this service fee when they can already get free ATM access with their banks - not to mention most banks have free online banking. Because of these facts, it's hard to see the Blinger device becoming very popular - but, we'll see.
Insert an ATM/credit card into the back of the device
The Blinger portable handheld ATM device is scheduled to be available in March, 2008. Early reports say that it will cost around $100 plus the monthly fees. The monthly fees will vary according to each individual bank. You can preorder the Blinger from the BlingNation website now.
Sources: FCC and BlingNation
Joe Eitel's Gadget Blog
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