Managing loose change digitally, categorising purchases with a simple hand gesture and integrating fashion, social media and payments into a brooch are three of the wearable design concepts to emerge from a collaboration between Visa Europe and Central Saint Martins College in London.
Visa challenged five of Central Saint Martins’ young designers - all either students or graduates of the MA Industrial Design course - to explore the next frontier of frictionless commerce, imagining the form and functionality of contactless wearable devices by 2020.
Speaking about the project, Nick Mackie, head of contactless at Visa Europe, says: “At Visa, we envisage that contactless technology will become a standard feature on many wearable devices by 2020; in fact, there’s no reason why the payment function on a wearable device wouldn’t become as ubiquitous as the alarm function on a digital watch."
The top three design concepts - which Mackie emphasises are intended to inspire ideas and conversation about the future of wearable payments, but are not for mainstream consumption - include:
• Small Change - A device allowing people to collect their loose change onto one wearable device.
• Budgeteer - A wearable payment device placed on the wrist that helps the user to organise and budget their expenses at the point of sale, simply by movement.
• Thread - A brooch which operates as an alternative to the traditional store card or brand loyalty scheme.