An innovative project demonstrates how physical cues can help users be more conscious of their spending habits.

Behavioral economists and psychologists have long been discussing the cognitive implications that naturally come with the abstraction of currencies. Cash is a more abstract form of exchanging value than physical barter/trade, and the credit card is an even more abstract form of exchange than cash. Generally speaking, the more abstract the exchange, the less cognitive impact it has on our long-term thinking and decision-making – often with negative results, as indicated by the rates of credit card debt in the US and elsewhere. As we move into virtual currencies where value is increasing exchanged via SMS, mouse click, or natural gesture motion, many design and cognitive thinkers are expressing their concern about the implications of these even more abstract methods of exchange.

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