Visa Europe teamed up Central Saint Martins, and challenged five of its design students to explore the future of wearable payments. The designers were asked to imagine the form and functionality of contactless wearable devices by 2020.
In 2020 with cash in decline it will still account for a third of all transactions and right now, there are 28 billion coins in circulation in the UK alone. Essentially, we are in a period of transition and it will take time to make the leap to digital money.
In 2020, we can receive our ‘change’ via a Small Change device instead of physical coins. It is loaded up with digital money and will help our future selves to manage small amounts of money from in-store payments. An e-ink display shows a progress dial of the funds available and the removeable coin allows interactions with IOT devices.
Budgeteer is attached to the wrist as a constant, physical reminder of what you are spending money on. It aims to help the scatterbrained among us to keep on top of our spending and not just guess as we go along.
When a payment is made, you make one of three hand gestures to allocate the expense to one of three categories – for instance, ‘home’, ‘work’ and ‘me’. Through Myo sensor technology, the device recognise the gesture and the system highlights transactions in three different colours on your online statements and even be used to quickly switch between different cards or accounts, all through discreet gestures. In other words, no more fumbling around in front of the cashier while doing mental gymnastics or logging in to your phone’s banking app. Another nice touch is that the electronics are visible, adding to the cyborg-like visual appeal.
Thread is a contactless payment device aimed at the fashion conscious – it has a removable part with a biometric finger vein scanner to take care of the payments in store. That’s the simple part. The smart brooch doesn’t just handle payments, though, it also keeps a record of clothes purchases and brands. When a passerby sees the trendsetting shopper wearing a Thread wearable they can scan them via a smartphone camera and AR app to find out where their dress or shoes are from, see purchase histories and rate individual items or users.