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May 22, 2014


Monica Bower

You could always lug your stuff around in a murse.

The thing is, sitting on your phone isn't much fun either.

Go a step wider on this idea - why carry around anything physical at all? My retinas and my DNA prove that I am me. The phone app gives me access to my money, but my money (and credit and insurance and license and etc) aren't stored ON my phone, or even ON the paper itself; the 'reality' of those documents is already elsewhere, in the DMV records, my insurer's records, the bank's records - otherwise they could never be replaced, if lost.

Imagine the pervasive existence of virtual 'desktops' at point-of-sale or point-of-inquiry replacing the now-ubiquitous credit-swipe POS consoles. You walk up, look at it, it reads your retina and presents you with your payment options, or access to insurance info, drivers license, or whatever the situation calls for.

Yes, there are all kinds of things standing in the way of it, but on a long enough timeline something like this seems like an inevitable progression.

Chuck Hollis

Great thoughts, Monica, so thank you for sharing.

The other side of the coin is, of course, privacy. Big concern to a lot of people, as it should be.

That being said, we really aren't giving anything up when we move to an all-digital model. And we will certainly continue to value the convenience.

There's a certain creepiness that results when we realize that science fiction has become reality.

Nick Sabinske

Love this. I've gone through this kind of thought process with the goal of being minimalist -- bought one of those super slim wallets and forced myself into a process of "what do I NEED to carry" and "what can I put on my phone". I was surprised how paired down I got. 4 cards (including id), and some cash which is basically for backup. Done. It feels weird at first, and then it's normal. Now as you do I wonder when I can get rid of those 4 cards and the cash too...

Too much packrat going on out of the fear of you MIGHT need something, where when you think it through you probably don't need to. eg, a lot of those stores that give you the plastic cards still have digital systems that can look you up by name. Or all you need is the #, which you can store in many ways on the phone. So, you can do a lot of this now even before everyone catches up to the idea.

(I apply the same mentality to packing for travel, but digital can't replace your clothes just yet...)


I constantly wonder about this. When I was in high school I wrote an essay on the coming cashless society that was just a few years away. That was in 1972. Digital signatures came out over 2 decades ago and according to my attorney friends they still would not like to litigate based on anything but an illegible scrawl that can easily be pasted onto any document.

Change is difficult, expensive, and painful, especially for industries that are heavily invested into the status quo processes. In the meantime, I use a money clip that has DL, health insurance, 3 CCs, an ATM card, gym card, and cash. Every card with a barcode is in the Key Ring app.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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