back to article Volterman 'super wallet': The worst crowdsource video pitch of all time?

Do you need a "smart" wallet with a built in front-facing camera and GPS? Of course you don't. Not even with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot? Well, enough people do to make a success of an Indiegogo project promising just that. The Volterman "smart wallet" has smashed its target of a relatively meagre $45,000 by 1,145 per cent, …

  1. PaulyV

    Was going to watch Dunkirk today but am going to stay in and watch this repeatedly now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh no they are going for another series of "V" where space-nerds dressed up as beardy hippies are going to Voltermanify earth.

  2. Marc 13

    OK, hands up... who wants to (repeatedly) sit on a 2600 mAh battery in a flexible case?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Why not. As the Beatles famously sang: Happiness is a Warm Bum...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. macjules

      And what happens on an aircraft ... presuming the beard does not instantly mark you for United Airlines waterboarding programme?

    3. amizko

      Only the brain dead

      I will never understand why some people put wallets (or really, anything) in their back pocket. But since I see people putting their cell phones in their back pockets, to hell with it. Might as well.

  3. Lazy Jack

    Target audience?

    So this is targeted at forgetful, know fuck-nothing about technology, bearded hipsters? Or more precisely their wallets?

    Craft beer of course.

    1. Chris King

      Re: Target audience?

      "So this is targeted at forgetful, know fuck-nothing about technology, bearded hipsters? Or more precisely their wallets?"

      IndieGoGo - the place where shysters go to fleece bearded hipsters, by offering to solve a first-world problem they never knew they had in the first place.

      If it's got a feckin' huge battery in it, uses the word "smart" in the description or starts talking about "nanoparticles" like they're some miracle product, a project is probably overselling itself.

      Pint, because we probably need a drinking game for IndieGoGo product descriptions.

  4. m0rt

    So I guess Tommy Wiseau wasn't available so they dug deeper.

    I now have "I've got Volterman" as meaning something similar to "I've got Herpes".

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Upvoted for a reference to that underrated genius, Tommy Wiseau.

  5. Scott 29

    I have older man again

    Watch it with subtitles auto-generated.

  6. David T-Rex


    But can you keep money in it?

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Ahhhh..

      Well obviously you keep that on your phone and use Apple Pay.

  7. inmypjs Silver badge

    "So it's going happen"

    If you bother to look through the scams on indiegogo you will find most of them don't really happen.

  8. Spanners Silver badge

    Techno Klutz.

    Knew that by his choice of phone anyway.

    And what world is he living in where a 2,600 mah power bank will charge all phones?

    1. brotherelf

      Well, it's only charging "up to 100%". Dammit, if it went to 11, I might have considered it, but like that?

      (The only vaguely realistic part I see is the mutual distance alert, range of RFID might be too short for pocket-to-pocket distance, but low-power BT would do. But then, if I could be bothered to look for it, somebody's probably hacked Miibands to do that already.)

  9. m0rt

    So instea of a phone with a case with a wallet area in it...

    Let's make a wallet more like a phone! Hooray!

    Next? knifewrench. Or Forkdrill.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: So instea of a phone with a case with a wallet area in it...

      Funny you should say that - on my screen anyway theres an ad just to the right for such a thing.

      well, its a beltknife ... close!

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: So instea of a phone with a case with a wallet area in it...

        ...a beltknife...

        All these things sound like a great idea, until you accidently cut off your own goolies in a trouser-fastening accident.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Re: beltknives etc

          "All these things sound like a great idea, until you accidently cut off your own goolies in a trouser-fastening accident."

          They are a great idea because they can help with improving the gene pool. Which might be the real hidden agenda...

          BTW, did you know that hipsters are genetic hybrids?

    2. fobobob

      Re: So instea of a phone with a case with a wallet area in it...

      For someone like myself, who does not much care for the ridiculous breadth of features stuffed into modern cellphones (i want a phone, just a phone dammit), this concept wouldn't be too insane. I've previously thought about building something with modest overlap, basically mating a cellular hotspot to a powerbank, possibly including some sort of wired ethernet capability. Also, why not double down with the Forkdrillknifewrench? You can enjoy a multi-course meal while cleaning out the P-traps!

      1. HelpfulJohn

        Re: So instea of a phone with a case with a wallet area in it...

        You know those vests with pockets? Sort of gillets? Like the "floatation-vest" Marty wears? I've sometimes thought of having one of them with a massive power-pack in the back, armoured, of course, with charger pockets for the Apple Watch, all sorts of phones, e-book-readers and tablets and maybe even a laptop.

        Add this to a vambrace computer that uses near-field finger detection as its HID and cross-interference lasers to form a display above the arm and "wearable" begins to actually mean something.

        The power pack would need to suck up solar and leech from any nearby mains by induction, of course, in addition to having a regular plug.

    3. Chemical Bob

      Re: knifewrench, forkdrill


  10. tony72

    At first glance ....

    At first glance, despite Hipsterman's ridiculous pitch, there are actually a few desirable features being proposed, but I am dubious about the practicality of the whole thing, in terms of implementation and cost. It does integrate several items that I sometimes carry around when I travel. And I did leave my phone on my windscreen again last night (doh).

    But my wallet is already thick enough without adding a battery and a bunch of electronics; I just can't see any way that this thing is going to be something I actually want to squeeze into my pocket. And how's that global wi-fi hotspot going to work? Is that just basically an embedded MiFi that you're going to buy a local SIM card for wherever you, or are they talking about something more interesting? And you're now going to add your wallet to the list of things you have to charge up every day?

    I will be amazed if this ever actually sees the light of day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: At first glance ....

      My guess is a bluetooth connection to your phone, so you can share your phones wifi with the device, then connect your phone to it via wifi. As a bonus they've solve perpetual motion.

      Why would anybody want this? I reject wallets because the leather is too thick, I don't want to be sitting on a 2600mah battery ( possibly an 18650? Roughly double the volume of an AA ).

      1. rmason

        Re: At first glance ....

        I'd imagine it'll have to be a tiny li-po pack.

        I came here to make a comment that's already been made - That I wouldn't risk leaving this in a back pocket and being sat on much.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I can't believe some numb nuts have backed this. They must think owning one gives you 45 minute sex skills.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "45" is the calibre (like Colt 45)

      "minute" is the adjective denoting tiny

      1. brotherelf

        I thought that was called "fun-size" now?

        Coat: it's the one with nothing noticeable in the pocket, ta.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      I can't believe some numb nuts have backed this. They must think owning one gives you 45 minute sex skills.

      Numb nuts is probably how he manages 45 minutes.

  12. Chris G


    The video is desperately trying to portray a,walking hedge as cool, he forgets his wallet, he forgets his phone and his girlfriend feels the needto time him in bed.

    Not cool bro, get a memory and read the kama sutra. Oh and learn to breathe through your ears.

  13. Tim 11

    why not just have 2 phones?

    they're basically selling a dual-redundant passive standby phone configuration but one of the phones is in a leather case and probably costs $1000

  14. Not also known as SC

    Distance Alarm and other questions.

    So if your phone and wallet move out of range of each other an alarm sounds (wallet in taxi, and wallet on table scenarios)? So why didn't the wallet beep in the taxi? It is now out of range of the phone?

    Also wondering how the walllet's anti-thief camera gets its photos to the telephone? Does it have to be connected to a wi-fi hotspot, or is it as Tony72 said above, it has its own SIM and network connection? What are the privacy implications of always being 'on-line'.

    Finally, if I ever found a wallet I would open it to see if there is any owner information to return it. Not every one who finds a wallet is a thief and to call the camera an anti-thief camera is quite insulting - especially considering the company are trying to extract money from people with a product which seems unlikely to make the light of day with the specs / design as promised by the mock up in the video.

    1. Solarflare

      Re: Distance Alarm and other questions.

      About a decade ago, on a night out and having consumed a decent percentage of my bodyweight in alcohol I managed to leave my wallet in the taxi on the way home. It was a hackney cab so I couldn't even call the taxi company to see if it had been handed in. I duly wrote it off as a loss, cancelled cards etc...A few days later I received a package through the mail - my wallet, with all the cards and the (admittedly small amount of) notes and change still in there and a note from the Post Office saying the taxi driver had handed it in to them and they had sent it over to the address on my driver's license.

      There are good people out there and the thought of an 'anti-thief' camera seems insulting to me too.

  15. Timo

    missing a disclaimer "not to scale"

    With all of the electronics and batteries that thing is not going to fit into a pocket and leave any room for the usual wallet items like money and credit cards and ID.

    I also got a right laugh out of: "This is Rob. At first glance he's just a regular guy."

    No he's not, he's a bearded hipster.

    Rob won't buy this. It would need to be steampunked or artisanal, or shiny white to match his earbuds.

    Couldn't get past 30 seconds. Do not want, do not need.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: missing a disclaimer "not to scale"

      It is to scale, but the rucksack carrying the battery and wifi hotspot is out of frame.

  16. Jucking Fidiot

    Never mind the wallet...

    ...Rob seriously needs to NEVER lose that girl. He'll never find another vacuous airhead who is so easily impressed with his inability to keep track of his wallet or phone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never mind the wallet...

      A girl who rolls over after sex and says "wow 45 minutes"? He can keep her.

      Ill keep mine who safeword after hour 3 :)

      1. Chris G

        Re: Never mind the wallet...

        I'm guessing 45 minutes is impressive, a hipster with an attention span as long as that is unusual. From what I hear most would be on instagram after 15 minutes max.

        1. amizko

          Re: Never mind the wallet...

          > From what I hear most would be on instagram after 15 minutes max.

          No, actually they would be on Instagram during.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes you wonder..

    What kind of people would actually buy into this? That's the part I don't get, try to think this through for a moment and you'll soon see all the nonsense which is being shared here.

    So the moment you open this contraption to find the rightful owner it'll take pictures of you? Good to know, thanks for the warning upfront. I'll remember this when taking a nice walk through the forest with my girlfriend:

    "No honey! Just leave that thing lying there in the middle of no where, the owner can track it down with the internal GPS"

    "But what if its batteries are dead?"

    "Yeah, not our problem. Or do you want to risk being photographed and possibly treated online as some kind of criminal? Good luck explaining the mindless "social" media masses that you were trying to find a home address".

    "Oh wow, you're fully right. Thanks for saving me, superman!"

    "I'm not a superman, I just know these scammerman wallets. You know what? Littering is against the law, lets just throw it into the garbage can over there where it belongs. There, all safe and clean!".

    1. Naselus

      Re: Makes you wonder..

      "What kind of people would actually buy into this?"

      The same kind of people who looked at the Apple Watch and thought "Yeah, this is definitely a must-have item. Finally, for just £300, I can avoid the inconvenience of reaching into my own pocket to look at my phone".

      It is not hard to convince people to buy stupid shit they don't need to fix minor problems they don't have, which is why even salesmen are capable of doing it.

  18. IsJustabloke

    Nice matching jackets though....

    See title.

  19. Haku

    I bet it can't do something my wallet I bought from a Glastonbury festival 30+ years ago can:

    Drop it in water without anything getting damaged.

  20. Jonathon Desmond

    Production Values

    Lots of things that I can't figure out about that video, but the biggest puzzle to me (aside from how they raised any money at all) is why the use of the Brisbane skyline in the opening sequence?

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      Re: Production Values

      They must have spent twenty, maybe twenty-five, dollars making that video. Most of which was probably spent paying the taxi driver...

  21. Borg.King

    Key ring option?

    What if I forget my wallet and my phone together?

    1. Chris G

      Re: Key ring option?

      Don't worry a little hatch pops open,releasing an inflatable homing pigeon, it will carry the wallet back to you so you can find your phone.

      Now I'm being ridiculous but you started it by asking a stupid question.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Key ring option?

      maybe they should put a high-tech "Clapper" in it that you train to recognize the sound of your individual clap. When it hears you clap, it sounds a loud beeping alarm and starts flashing lights around the edge of the wallet.

  22. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

    lots of fools with lots of money

    and still easily parted. "Ironically" of course. Bet if one did demographics they'd find most backers are under 30, no kids and live within deep urban centers and have less time being employed than they've spent in college.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop calling it a wallet, it's a man-purse.

  24. DubyaG

    Here's a use case

    Some of this functionality would have been nice in my wife's case after she left her wallet in a rental car she returned to the airport (just last night). She discovered it while going to her gate. If her phone had barked at her 33 feet away from the car, she would have been tipped off. The other features (especially the honkin' battery pack) are fairly useless.

    The video does point out a flaw in the design though. If tied to your phone and it really works, you should never lose your wallet (or phone) and allow someone to pilfer it. You will know you are about 30 feet away when it goes walkabout.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Me at the bar to a friend: Mind if I use your wallet? The battery is dead on mine.

  26. Alan Birtles

    Its so smart it can't even carry any of those old fashioned coins

  27. PhilipN Silver badge

    Mr. O .... You and I shall have words!

    Start of the weekend here but not past Second Coffee time.

    Ever again you ask me to watch a video that is going to leave me brain-dead for hours... I shall be .... DISAPPOINTED!!!!

  28. Giles C Silver badge

    How much?

    Just the funding page, right at the bottom are the prices.

    Bifold wallet $248 so roughly £200 inc vat

    Most I every carry is about £100 so the wallet is worth twice what cash I put in it. When mine wears out I'll get another for about £15 or less off eBay....

    They also do a set, bifold, card wallet, wireless charger, travel wallet for only $760!!!!!

  29. jason 7

    Hang thing they glossed over in the Pros/Cons meeting.

    How long does a normal leather wallet last the average guy? I get through a wallet every year or so. By 6 months it looks pretty gnarly and bent up (front pocket guy). Just how...

    The whole idea should have stopped at that point but...hipsters.

  30. razorfishsl


    Stolen Apple tech, magnetic power connector.

    Let's just hope this product & battery are built with "flexi-tech", because any wallet in your back pocket with a lithium battery using current tech is gonna torch your cards & cash.

  31. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    So why is data roaming cheaper with this product? They make the claim it's up to three times cheaper, but don't say how that can be? Surely it uses a cell service, so would need a contract and a SIM so who is providing that service for cheap?

  32. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    The other thing I don't buy, is that this thing will have any realistic battery life... I presume the WiFi hot spot will be always on, given there are no controls on the wallet (or will this be turned on using an App controlled by low power BlueTooth?) I presume the wallet will use Bluetooth for the out of range detection. Plus it's running GPS when it's out of range, BT and GPS erode batteries fairly quickly. So how many hours will it manage to ping home for, before the BT, GPS and cell broadcasts deplete the battery?

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