There are two current trends that have great potential and are probably here to stay – wearables and digital transactions. And in an attempt to amalgamate the two big fads, Visa is testing sunglasses that will allow you to make contactless payments! Also Read - Apple led the growing wearable pack in Q4 2020, Xiaomi followedAlso Read - Garmin Venu SQ series of smartwatches launched in India: Price, availability, features
At the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and festival, Visa announced that it is running a pilot program in the US for contactless payment-enabled sunglasses, which uses Near Field Communication for transactions. Essentially, one of the arm of the glasses would be fitted with a small NFC chip, which would be linked to your Visa account. So, instead of swiping a debit card or punching in a pin, the user will simply tap the payment terminal to complete the transaction. Also Read - Xiaomi Mi Watch Revolve with up to 14 days battery life launched in India for Rs 10,999
“It ties back to our tagline of everywhere you want to be. Without it it’s hard for us to fulfill our tagline. Our view is we take form factors that you don’t expect to be payment-enabled like sunglasses or maybe like a ring and expose to the market that maybe it can be,” Chris Curtin, Visa’s chief brand and innovation marketing officer told CNBC.
Image credit: CNBC/Michelle Castillo
Visa is running the pilot program for the wearable, at the World Surf League s 2017 Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast competition, which are some of the biggest surfing competition held in the world. You see the idea behind the glasses now? At a beach festival, where you would probably not want to carry your wallet, these sunglasses would come in handy. (But god forbid if you lose them!) ALSO READ: After Spectacles, Snapchat is now working on drones
Though the demand for smartwatch and fitness band in the wearable segment, is growing exponentially, but glasses as a wearable is yet to be accepted as a daily technology. After Google Glass was introduced with much fanfare in 2014, at $1,500, it promised a new, bold era for information. However, people realized the device was not yet ready to be part of their lives, and so safety and health, privacy and piracy issues around the built-in camera became more visible.
However, in September 2016, Snapchat renamed itself Snap Inc, and in an effort to turn into a modern-day camera company, launched the Spectacles . Sticking to its motto of keeping your memories alive in snaps and videos, Spectacles are not your everyday sunglasses. One can record videos using Spectacles, with just a tap of the button. Presently, the Spectacles, priced at $130, which around Rs 8,600, are only available in the US, and fortunately, are being accepted in surplus by people. RELATED: Apple working on Google-like augmented reality glasses
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