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News Link • Technology: Computer Hardware

Credit Card with a Computer Inside

A programmable credit card can display useful information, offer added security features, and even act as several different cards by rewriting its own magnetic strip.

Two types of programmable credit cards were unveiled this week at the DEMO conference in Santa Clara, California, by Dynamics, a startup based in Pittsburgh that's been developing the technology in stealth mode for three years. The company raised $5.7 million of funding last year.

The new cards are no bigger than the one in your wallet, and is actually slightly more flexible. It can display information at the press of a button, and can become several different cards by rewriting its own magnetic strip.

The "MultiAccount" card has two buttons on its face, each with an indicator light that can be pressed to record data to its magnetic strip. "One might switch the card to be your debit card, and the other your credit card," says Dynamics CEO Jeff Mullen. "These cards are exactly the same size and thickness of a conventional card, and the lithium-polymer battery inside can last four years under high usage. They're also fully waterproof, so you can put them through the washing machine."

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