Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How the iCache Works

        Tech | Travel Gadgets

Just think -- all these cards could be consolidated onto the iCache device.
Just think -- all these cards could be consolidated onto the iCache device.
Matt Cardy/Stringer/Getty Images

The average person carries nine credit, debit and store loyalty cards [CNN Money]. That's a lot of bulk to carry around in your wallet. What if you could replace that wallet full of plastic with a single slim device that would function just like each of your cards?

That's exactly what the makers of iCache have in mind. Realizing that the technology behind the credit or debit card hasn't changed much in the last 40 years, the creators of iCache decided to update the way we conduct our everyday business transactions [CNN Money]. The iCache gadget is as thin as a Razr cell phone, and its sleek style resembles an iPod. Basically, the iCache harbors data from every credit, debit, loyalty (for example, your supermarket discount card) or gift card that you own. The gadget's design is meant to appeal to young and technologically savvy consumers as well as those seeking a safe and secure way to carry out transactions. It's the first gadget of its kind -- a digital wallet secured by the owner's fingerprint.

The iCache could not only alter day-to-day shopping, it could also change the way people travel. Instead of carrying a wallet full of credit and debit cards while you travel domestically or internationally, with the iCache travel gadget, you could streamline all your cards into one device.

­So far, the device has only been distributed by banks and other financial institutions to a select few customers. But it's a good glimpse at the potential future of making transactions. In fact, Jonathan Ramaci, CEO of the Cambridge, Mass.-based iCache, anticipates that 7 million units will be sold by the end of 2009 [CNN Money].

But how exactly can one device replace all of your credit cards? Read on to learn about the mechanics of the iCache and how to use this unique travel gadget.


More to Explore