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Smartwatches: The Next Generation of Tap & Pay

Today’s technological innovations help our everyday lives by making errands simpler and by making complex ideas and tasks more straightforward. While some companies have been recreating the wheel (read: smartphones and tablets), other companies are delving into a new advancement: smartwatches.

Theoretically, smartwatches will be able to do everything that your smartphone and wallet does – except now it is attached to your wrist. The interface will also be considerably smaller, which aids in the simplicity and minimalism involved. But will smartwatches replace your wallet? Here are three reasons why we say yes.

1.) So How Does This Thing Work?

So how does “tap and pay” work? Two words: NFC chips.

What is an NFC chip? NFC stands for near field communication and is technology that enables smartphones (and other tech devices) to formulate radio communication by merely bringing them together in proximity or touching them together. It’s just fancy, tech-speak for “when you put said items close together, they do awesome techy things”.

You probably already use it without knowing it. Do you have the Starbucks app on your phone? More specifically, the app that allows you to pay for your drinks by just waving your phone at the cashier’s scanner? That’s exactly how smartwatches are intended to work.

This is a big deal because that is the basis behind “tap and pay infrastructure.” Programs like the Apple Pay program or the Android equivalent HCE (“host card emulation”) allow users to pay via mobile payment systems instead of carrying money around in a wallet. If you want to know more, check out this informative video on Tap & Pay Infrastructure

#2) Convenience

It is incredibly easy and convenient to pay for items by lifting up your wrist. Easy enough, right? In addition to credit cards, debit cards, and online banking, we are now able to pay for items using our phones. However the ability to pay with a watch (which won’t be lost in a purse or car) is a dream come true.

#3) Innovation

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Tap & Pay is just one of the fantastic applications for a smartwatch. The technologies involved in smartwatches is getting better by the day.

Sony just released its Smartwatch 3 which allows its user to use the face like a small tablet. It is also equipped with a microphone which allow users to touch the screen when it is idle and speak commands. The Smartwatch 3 doesn’t even have any buttons. With the progress being made, it won’t be long until they replace smartphones all together.

Some people may believe that smartwatches are a gimmick, enthusiasts aren’t so dismissive. The technology is still new but companies are making advancements every day and products like the Smartwatch and iWatch are making expansions by the leaps and bounds.

 

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Image Sources:

Samsung Galaxy Gear in Cradle:

“Samsung Galaxy Gear in cradle” by Kārlis Dambrāns – Flickr: Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Samsung_Galaxy_Gear_in_cradle.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Samsung_Galaxy_Gear_in_cradle.jpg

Pebble Watch Trio Group:

“Pebble watch trio group 04” by Pebble Technology – Pebble press pack 1 http://ksimgs.s3.amazonaws.com/PebblePressPack1.zip. Licensed under CC BY-SA 1.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pebble_watch_trio_group_04.png#mediaviewer/File:Pebble_watch_trio_group_04.png

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