Software Development

This ‘smart’ coin jar responds when you put money in it

It also accepts Apple Pay. Richard Rutenberg built the prototype after more than 30 classes at NextFab.

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Richard Rutenberg designed an Arduino- and Bluetooth-powered coin jar that does stuff when you feed it change. It can also read employee badges, accept Apple Pay, light up and play sound.

What would you do with it?

Some of Rutenberg’s ideas include using it to accept Apple Pay for a bake sale, using it as a jukebox where employees scan their badges and drop a coin to play their own Pandora station or using the stereo sound to make it “thank” someone for donating money.

Rutenberg is raising $65,000 to bring “Coin-Jar” to market. As of this writing, he’s raised nearly $2,500.

Support by Jan. 30

Rutenberg, 49, of Italian Market, took more than 30 courses at Washington Avenue’s NextFab makerspace to develop the coin jar. A former Cisco Systems employee, he believes mobile wallets will catch on fast. He hopes that his Coin-Jar can be a way for those who use Apple Pay and other digital payments to give to charity.

“In the future the people who write checks will be very few,” he wrote in an email. “The next generation will have never lived without being able to pay with a smart phone.”

He plans to release the schematics so that others can 3D-print their own.

Companies: NextFab

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