Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Top 10 Stories of 2014: 8. The Best Tech in Life is Free

We're counting down the top 10 biggest and most influential stories of 2014 on Blind Bargains. This year's panel included Jeff Bishop, J.J. Meddaugh, Jamie Pauls, Alena Roberts, and Joe Steinkamp. Number 8 involves one of the biggest free giveaways in recent memory.

Having access to an affordable currency reader is nothing new. I remember fondly when the iBill was released in 2010 and the huge demand that surrounded it. It was easily one of the hottest products at the summer conventions with its $99 price tag, far cheaper than any currency reader which proceeded it. Later on, Looktel and others released low-cost and free currency reading apps for the iPhone and Android and the iBill lost much of its charm. Still, myself and others still appreciated the convenience of a simple device for identifying currency which was often quicker to use than the time to open an app.

But make something free, and suddenly everyone wants one again. Even seasoned iPhone users were getting in line for their free iBills, thanks to a new program from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and Orbit Research. In short, the eventual goal is to create accessible currency in the United States, something that most other countries take for granted. But due to the life cycle of paper currency and the time it takes to redesign money, the iBill was seen as the stop-gap solution.

If you haven't done so yet, you can request a free currency reader starting January 1. Now, regardless of your financial situation, as long as you are a legally blind U.S. resident, a free iBill can be yours. It's why we've placed it at number 8 on this year's list.

Don't forget to sound off. Let us know what you think of our rankings by leaving a comment.

Category: Articles

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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.

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