We hear about it all the time, “the internet of things is the future.”
What is the internet of things, or IoT?
Forbes says that the IoT is “everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.”
There are a lot of everyday objects being used, from toasters to pens and from toothbrushes to watches. You may have noticed that there is an increasing digitization of these items, furthermore, that opens them up to having internet connectivity.
Wearables is the one of the biggest buzz words in the IoT, and for good reason. We all wear certain items daily. It could be a watch, a bracelet, rings and eyeglasses. All of these items are in our list of wearables with the potential to change payments.
While still in the works, rings with near-field communication (NFC) are closer than you may think. A simple tap of the wedding band and your latte is all paid up.
I love watches, so this is my favorite category. We’ve all seen smartwatches like the Samsung Galaxy Gear, which doesn’t support NFC, yet, but does allow for mobile commerce on their interface. But, have you seen ordinary watches with payment ability? Yup, it’s coming mainstream too! A chip inside an “ordinary” watch will allow ATM withdrawals, mobile account access, bill payments and alerts.
Remember Google Glass? It hasn’t gone anywhere. Google is in development to up the ante on payments, including a partnership with MasterCard to create an unstoppable digital wallet.
Ever hear of the power suit? Japanese suit maker, MJ Bale, tailored a suit for Australia’s Heritage Bank that contains a contactless payment chip woven into the fabric. Simply wave the sleeve over the payment terminal and lunch is paid for. Don’t forget the receipt!
5. QR Codes
Although QR codes have been used in payments before, there is no stopping what a QR code is printed on. T-shirts, hats, jackets, phone cases can all be imprinted with a code that carries an entire digital identity. Now you don’t have to worry about being at the beach without money!
Although this might sound like something direct from Back to the Future II, it is all here and now. It’s only going to go more mainstream and cost less to implement as more competition arises. As someone who hates carrying things in my pockets, wearable tech for payments is the best thing since sliced bread.
The most interesting wearable on the list, for me, is the wearable QR codes. It’s accessible and cheap for anyone to own and would really bring contactless payments to the masses. Just don’t lend your friend your shirt!