Four Estonians have developed what has been called the world's smallest ID card reader, the +ID.
Wireless and incorporating a slot for a micro-SD memory card, the 29-euro device went on sale in their company's online store on Monday. It has previously received a plug in the form of a tweet from President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the country's tech-savvy president.
Designer Martin Lazarev, who has lived in Brazil for the last six years, came up with the idea for the +ID four years ago.
"It just came to me. While traveling, you don't want to carry a long cable with you and, being a designer, I just thought about it a little and found a solution that was as ergonomic and compact as possible," he told ETV. The plus-shaped device collapses into an even smaller bar about the width of a wallet-sized card.
Three friends - Argo Männiste, Arte Ermeli and Argo Karusoo - provided support for the process, similarly from their respective locations in countries far from Estonia.
To avoid certain ethical and copyright protection issues, the group decided to have the +ID manufactured in Taiwan.
"We're producing in Taiwan because our first choice - [the People's Republic of] China - did not prove suitable. Unfortunately, they leaked the drawings," said Lazarev.
The product name and domain name, pluss-id.com, is styled with the spelling used on the Estonian market.