Sunglasses and contactless payments: They go together like music festivals and contactless payments. At least, that's the idea behind the WaveShades, a new contactless payment system built into sunglasses and born from a partnership between Australian startup Inamo, sunglasses-maker Local Suppy and Visa.
The prototype tap-and-go sunglasses are being rolled out ahead of Australia's Laneway music festivals, presumably so you'll only need to worry about keeping track of the No. 1 thing you are most likely to lose at a day-night music festival.
Local Supply has locally supplied the sunglasses and Inamo has provided the secure NFC payment chip, built into the arm of the glasses. The secure payment chip was first developed for the Inamo Curl, itself a waterproof dongle that can be attached to watches or fitness bands to enable tap-and-go payments anywhere the Visa Paywave contactless payment system is available (which, in Australia, is pretty much everywhere).
But just think of what tap-and-go sunglasses add to the mix. Make a pun every time you pay for something, "CSI: Miami"-style. Finally have a legitimate reason to wear sunglasses at night. Actually, that's all we've got so far.
OK, in all seriousness, a waterproof, contactless payment system built around a device you already have on hand actually makes a lot of sense, especially if you're at a music festival or hitting the beach. Tap-and-go payment has been quite popular in Australia for some time now, predating the likes of Apple Pay due to heavy early adoption by most of the major banks. The biggest stumbling block is that we're not actually dealing with something novel here, so functionality will need to stack up against a pretty well-developed ecosystem.
"Using Inamo's technology in sunglasses is a logical extension of our mission to move people's wallets to a wearable," Inamo founder and CEO Peter Colbert said in a statement.
CNET plans to test out the WaveShades soon, so stay tuned for our review of how cool we look paying for things with our sunglasses. Sorry, using our payfarers.
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