Pointless product of the week

Dunhill has created a wallet that opens only for its owner, and which alerts him when it’s been stolen.

The Biometroc wallet checks the user’s fingerprint before opening – and is made of carbon fibre that, says the company, “will resist all but the most concerted effort to open it.”

Inside, there’s a ‘luxurious’ leather credit card holder and a stainless steel money clip – although you may not have much to actually put in it, given that the wallet costs an eye-watering $825.

A big selling point is that the wallet sounds an alarm when it’s stolen. Presumably the idea is that a thief will be so shocked by the sound of the alarm that he or she simply drops the wallet rather than making off with it altogether.

Otherwise, it’s hard to see the big advantage of the alarm – unless it’s to provide the rest of us with some entertainment.

The wallet is linked to the owner’s mobile phone via Bluetooth, with the alarm going off whenever the wallet is separated from the owner’s mobile phone by more than five meters.

That’s about the size of an average room. So come home from work, dunmp your phone on the table and sit the other side of the room: off goes the alarm. Nip out for a newspaper without taking your phone: off goes the alarm. Lend your phone to a friend who walks twenty feet away to use it… you get the idea.

And with biometric recognition notoriously unreliable, we may also have the pleasure of seeing poor little rich people stuck at the checkout as their wallets stubbornly refuse to open.