“Before the dotcom bubble burst, new software emerged almost every day to satisfy our every need, wish and whim. But now most surviving startups are doing things we never see — such as connecting guts of the Internet and producing chips that are so small you need a microscope to see them.
Waltham, Mass.-based Chameleon Network, however, creates something that affects just about everyone whose wallet bulges with ID cards, ATM cards, subway passes and supermarket cards — a wallet-sized device called Pocket Vault that substitutes for all those cards.
After consumers use Chameleon Network’s software to “load” the data from their existing cards onto the Pocket Vault, they never have to rely on the individual pieces of plastic laminate again. When they want to use one of the cards programmed on the Pocket Vault, they select the icon for the card on the Pocket Vault’s touch screen, and the device ejects a Chameleon Card that is temporarily programmed to act as the card of choice, whether it is a Visa card, BART pass, New York Public Library card or Kroger discount card.
The Chameleon Card will erase itself after 15 minutes and will remain blank until the user reuses it as another card. The Pocket Vault can be turned on only with its user’s fingerprint, so thieves cannot turn the device on. “