Update 29 Nov: nio Card is now the world's first Bitcoin payment smartcard!
We are pleased to reveal that the nio Card is world’s first Bitcoin payment card which transfers money in a single tap.
The nio Card is ultra-secure, and acts as an anti-theft wallet of the future. We’ve been working with Bitcoin experts and retailers that are already accepting it, from Pizza shops and bars to restaurants and taxi firms, to develop a simple and secure system that makes it easier than ever for people to make and accept Bitcoin payments.
Some feedback from Bitcoin vendors who love nio Card:
Richard at Cable Studios:
“We’re huge advocates of BitCoin as a simple way to make everyday purchases from local stores. nio Card will help make BitCoin mainstream."
Phil at Coast Networks:
“We accept BitCoin as it allows us to more easily accept payments from our international customers and without the bank charges. We’re seeing growing uptake of Bitcoin locally and nio Card will be a simple and secure way for us to accept payments.”
Hugo at De-Wagg Cafe:
“We were the first business in the Netherlands to accepts BitCoins and it’s been a great success. Around 10 customers a week pay with BitCoin and it’s growing. nio Card will make accepting payments much easier.”
CNET: "A wallet-friendly device that's capable of sending and receiving the digital currency".
Pocket Lint: "It’s the bank card replacement and Bitcoin uses that fascinate us".
Payment Week: "nio Card Adds Bitcoin Payments to its Long List of Features".
The nio Card is the perfect platform to do this as it contains all of the technology needed to enable secure, contactless payments using NFC. Here's how it works:
nio Card securely stores your private keys so you can make payments. It also stores your Bitcoin address to receive payments.
You can securely copy your Bitcoin payment addresses onto nio Card from your smartphone using Bluetooth. Once stored your card will act just like a normal contactless payment – but way more secure.
Taking payments is also easy with our Bitcoin Kiosk app.
Bitcoin payments are just one part of what a smartcard can do.
When your smartphone and nio Card are in range of each other, you unlock a growing range of exclusive nio apps which keep your digital life secure and your personal possessions safe, and prevents loss of your wallet and phone.
It connects via a simple bluetooth connection. And at a thin 4mm, you can easily slot it into your wallet, purse, bag, or stick it to anything you want - nio Card will keep it safe and close.
Stuff Magazine: "Bluenio's 4mm-thin nio Card is your smartphone's guardian angel"
TweakTown: "a 4mm-thin Bluetooth card that acts like a next-gen NFC-powered wallet"
Praise for the nio Card’s predecessor, the award-winning nio Tag:
Pocketlint“So simple to use - it is really convenient”
Engadget“The minimalistic nio has a fair form factor and build quality … we see great potential in nio”
Geek.com“It’s a lot less hassle to stop the loss before it happens and this nio system seems to offer a very simple solution to that”
Protect the things you value most
The line between how you use your wallet and phone is blurring. nio Card is the first product to tie them together and secure your identity, money and privacy, in a world where NFC technology is destined to be a part of everyday life.
Never lose your wallet or phone - Did you know that more than 10,000 phones are lost in London taxis every month? Not any more. The moment your phone and nio Card are separated, both of them sound an alarm to let you know that one is missing.
Secure your private data - Your bank details, passwords and private notes are safely kept in our nio Safe app which can only be opened by you or your nio Card. nio can even add dual-factor authentication for business-class security.
2GB of USB storage - Keep your most important data secure and close. nio Card isn’t like storage keyrings which are clunky and never with you when you need them.
Dual-factor authentication for all - Any website, product developer or business can have their own dual-factor authentication for ultra-secure login. Hackers won’t have a chance.
What else could nio Card do?
We’re also having some really exciting meetings with major banks and security companies about nio Card, and can’t wait to update backers on what’s coming next. Here’s some hints at what nio Card is capable of.
Replace your credit card - Your bank’s contactless payment card isn’t secure if someone steals it. nio Card can replace it entirely, and only works when it’s with you and in range of your phone.
Replace your keys - We’re developing a system where you can stick a nio Card to your front door. When you get home, just tap the card - it’ll know you’re there because of your smartphone proximity, and let you in
Replace your Fitbit - Drop a light nio Card in your pocket, and it’ll track your activity while you’re out exercising. You don’t even need to carry your phone; the nio Card will sync your data across to the nio Fit app when you get home.
Replace your wallet - We’re working towards a world where you keep a phone in one pocket and a nio Card in the other - and nothing else. Meanwhile, your wallet or purse is a great home for a nio Card. Or you can get our custom wallet made from genuine leather, specially designed for nio Card by italian designers.
Keep your children close - nio is great when you head out with your kids. Whether you clip a nio Tag to their belt or slip a nio Card in their pocket, you set the distance for an alarm to sound if they stray too far.
We love hearing suggestions for new ways that nio Card can be used. If you have an idea, let us know in the comments!
What if I still lose my nio Card or phone?
There’s two ways to lose something: at home or when you’re out and about.
At home, just press ‘locate’ on the card to find your phone, or use the nio Locate app to find your card with its built-in radar which tells you when you’re getting close.
If you lose your wallet, purse or bag when you’re out an about, the nio Card carries a personal message so it can get home. Someone with an NFC enabled smartphone (Galaxy S3, S4 etc.) can simply tap it to their phone where your message will appear, like your email address and a reward.
At the same time, it will send a signal to the global nio Lost & Found system so you’re personally notified and know where to find it.
Meanwhile, no-one else can use the nio Card or access your data because it locks down when it’s out of range of your smartphone or tablet.
Exceptional build quality
The nio Card feels solid and looks beautiful. An anodised metal frame and buttons give it strength, and the durable but sleek polycarbonate sides can be printed on or engraved - perfect to personalise your card or brand it for your company.
A suite of exclusive apps
There’s already a whole suite of official nio apps, and it’s growing all the time. Just download the free nio Launchpad app to access them.
There are currently nine nio apps available, with four more due before nio Card arrives in 2014.
Here’s what some of them look like:
Customise with your own apps
nio is the first in its class to offer an Software Development Kit (SDK) to developers.
NFC, like you’d find in an Oyster card or contactless payment, has never been so accessible to independent developers. There’s a bunch of cutting-edge sensors to tap into, without the strict limits found on smartphone SDKs. You can also tap into a locations real ambient temperature rather than rely on a 3rd party weather feed.
There's some fantastic independent nio apps in production right now, like nio Fit which tracks your activity. We can't wait to see what developers come up with next.
You can start developing your own nio apps with the Bluenio SDK by buying a nio Tag via Kickstarter right now.
We love ifttt.com, a clever service which puts the internet to work for you. It means you don’t have to be a developer to connect your favourite websites and gadgets, and we’re going to apply for nio to be a channel on there.
There’s so many creative ways you could connect nio Card with IFTTT:
Unlock your front door when you're close with a Smart Things lock
Turn on the lights when you get home and it’s dark
Turn off a heater via a WeMo switch when the temperature is right
The only limit is your imagination. Feel free tell @ifttt on Twitter that you want to see a nio channel!
How does it work?
nio Card connects to your iPhone or Android phone in seconds. Just tap ‘Connect’ on the free nio Launchpad app, slip your card into your wallet or purse, and you’re all set.
Here's the approximate price in dollars ($) - the standard UK sterling (£) reward prices are on the top right of this page.
Devices running iOS6.1 and iOS7 including:
iPhone 4S and the full iPhone 5 range
iPad (early-2012 and newer) including the iPad Air
iPad Mini and iPad Mini Retina Display
Any device with Bluetooth 4.0 which is running Android 4.3 Jellybean and newer (KitKat), including:
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
And many more!
The nio Card prototype is fully functional and pre-production ready. The card you see in the video is a real functioning nio Card. The circuit design is based on our nio Tag, which is a proven product in production. We're extremely confident that the nio Card is suitable for mass-prodution.
Our designers created the casing for the nio Card alongside the circuit development to ensure a slim design that looks great, but doesn't compromise on functionality.
If we hit the funding target, pre-production will begin in December so we can ship to backers by the end of April.
We’re confident in our release schedule because we’ve already brought successful electronic products to market, and work with three different supply partners in China where one acts as a back-up in case there’s an issue in the supply chain.
Kickstarter backers will *always* be the first to receive their nio Cards. We’ve seen the effect of other products putting early backers at the back of the queue. We want to assure you that your faith in nio Card will be properly rewarded with early shipment and frequent production updates.
How the money will be spent
At this point we really need your help.With the funds pledged from pre-orders we will be able to:
Cover certification costings (CE, FCC, Bluetooth and TELEC)
Pay for the building of the tooling needed to mass-produce the card
Acquire a large volume of high-value components to supply nio Card at an affordable price
We’ve come a long way with our original nio Tag, and will go even further if you can become a backer. Here's a brief summary of what we've accomplished so far:
Formed a talented team across the UK, France, Switzerland, China and Canada
Won several innovation awards for the nio Tag, leading to the nio Card prototype
Written over 100,000 lines of code for iOS and Android
Developed nine official nio apps, with four more to launch this year
Opened a software development kit to expand our app ecosystem.
Meet the team
Bluenio is a team of skilled and highly motivated designers, developers and entrepreneurs.
Ben Hounsell: Co-founder and inventor of nio Tag and nio Card. Ben directs and manages our product roadmap and works hard to ensure our products are accessible to everyone. Ben is also responsible for promoting nio and managing the product release of nio Card.
Tomas Ahnebrink: Co-founder and active board member. Tomas has more than 25 years experience in the technology industry and is responsible for our business strategy, which includes marketing and business development.
Brian Norton: Co-founder and active board member. A seasoned entrepreneur having run a number of very successful businesses, Brian's expertise covers project management and business development across a number of sectors.
Patrice Fleury: Lead Architect and head of development. Pat is responsible for firmware development and hardware updates to the nio Card. He is also responsible for managing the development team and bringing new features to life asap.
Suhayb Mahmood: Lead iOS developer. Suhayb is responsible for all things Apple and leads the development of the nio family of apps. He's personally responsible for many of the great apps we've developed so far.
Rob Ross: Lead Android developer. Rob is our resident Android guru and has a lot of experience navigating app development through the minefield of different Android devices to ensure they work perfectly and look great.
Risks and challenges
Production - There is always a risk of delay due to production issues, and sourcing components in the supply chain can be a real challenge. Having said that, we’ve always been quick to solve any problems while releasing three generations of nio Tag, thanks to a combined 20 years of manufacturing experience in our core team.
For the nio Card we have three different supply chain partners in China with one as a backup which vastly reduces the risk of production delays. We’re totally confident in shipping nio Card by late-April, and will keep backers updated throughout the production process.
Smartphone compatibility - Not all smartphones and tablets support Bluetooth 4.0, particularly out-of-date Android phones. This is starting to change, and as a backup we’re hard at work developing custom code to make sure that smartphones without the latest version of Android (but do have Bluetooth 4.0) can still use nio Tag and nio Card.
nio Card is much more than a regular Bluetooth finder - and that's why it stands out.
Where other proximity products only help you find lost items, the nio Card is a truly next-generation Bluetooth device.
Although it can be used to help prevent the loss of valuable items and help find them, the in-built NFC and sensors mean it can do so much more.
- You can use nio Cards NFC to open doors, access your computer and store loyalty cards etc.
- For added security you can set the NFC in nio Card only to work when it's connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth - that's absolutely unique!
- nio Card serves as a thermometer, as it transmits the temperature of its surroundings.
- The in-built motion sensor, accelerometer and temperature sensor also open up a wide range of applications - from fitness motoring, to fall detection for the elderly.
- Because we offer our software development kit (SDK) for FREE, it means that anyone can build apps that makes use of what nio Card has to offer.
- Whilst others may talk about up-coming release dates, we already have full support Android and iOS
- Finally, WE HAVE THE EXPERIENCE and the skills to take nio Card to market. We can say this with confidence as we have already developed two successful Bluetooth products from concept to market.
Yes. The battery lasts over 9-months with regular use.
The nio Card uses a rechargeable lithium polymer battery, which is the same sort of battery that you find in your mobile phone. That means you don't have to keep buying replacement batteries, which is also better for the environment.
nio Card can be programmed using a standard NFC read/writer, which you can use to store secure data for door entry apps etc. It can also be read by Android phones the support NFC, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4.
VIRTUAL BILLBOARD - You're supporting us and we love you for it. To prove it we'll put your name on the bluenio.com thank you page, as well as a link to your website and a short message (max 150 characters).
EXPERIENCE IT NOW - One nio Tag to experience the nio ecosystem, available as soon as we hit our funding target. Perfect for loss prevention, or to start developing your own apps for nio.
(Recommended retail price: £34.99)
THE PERFECT MATCH - One nio Card AND one nio Wallet. Make sure you don't lose your wallet and keep your cash and other cards safe with this combo - Exclusive to Kickstarter backers.
(Estimated retail price: £79.99)
THE ULTIMATE COMBO - One nio Tag, one nio Card AND one nio Wallet. Start developing on your own nio Tag as soon as we hit our funding target, so your apps a ready for when your card and wallet arrive.
(Estimated retail price: £99.99)
Improve your product ideas with the Bluenio team at our stunning country offices in Surrey, and get direct input on your designs and business plan from our world-class experts. (Does not include transport.)