Visa has announced a new pilot of contactless payment-enabled sunglasses. The glasses look like a normal pair of sunglasses — with the addition of a small contactless chip that allows the sunglasses to work as a contactless payment method.

The pilot program will take place at the World Surf League’s 2017 Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast competition, which Visa are also sponsoring.

And while the concept of payment-enabled sunglasses may seem like an outlandish idea, I am sure launching them at a surfing competition, is fitting as many people there will think they are an amazing idea, given surfers spend a great deal of time on a beach and should they want to buy something, such as an ice-cream or drink, they may not have their wallet with them and have to go back to their cars for money.

The visa sunglasses seem to have taken some inspiration from a similar concept – The Microsoft Band 2, which included the ability to buy coffee through a wearable device when out on the go.

To make a payment you have to take the sunglasses off, although I would imagine lowering your face onto a credit card terminal would be much more fun.

Currently very little is known about the sunglasses, including cost, potential release or availability, or whether or not this will eventually reach non-surfing customers, in the form of other everyday items, but one thing is for sure wearables is becoming much more of “a thing” and I would imagine will become much more of daily necessity as we move away from cash.


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