Visa Europe has teamed up with Central Saint Martins, challenging MA Industrial Design students and graduates to imagine a wearable payment device for the year 2020.
Nick Mackie, Head of Contactless at Visa Europe, said: “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 designers – Marta Monge, Maxime Moreaux, Gareth Ladley, Marina Mellado and Bronka de Sage – worked under the guidance of tutor and designer Silas Grant and Programme Director Nick Rhodes. Three co-created design concepts were presented at the Visa Europe technology partner forum, as part of the London Design Festival 2015.
The three concepts are entitled ‘Budgeteer’, ‘Small Change’ and ‘Thread’. They explore wearable tech experiences that are useful, express personal identity and provide small everyday pleasures.
Budgeteer is a device worn on the wrist, which allows the user to allocate their spending to different categories using simple, discreet gestures. It allows users to be smarter with their money and keep track of their spending in an easy and fun way.
Small Change is a futuristic coin, which replaces the need for carrying change. Loaded with digital money it has an e-ink display – this shows a progress dial of the funds available, but retains the physical familiarity of a coin and the behaviours associated with it.
Thread is a contactless payment device that can be worn as an accessory. Aimed at the fashion conscious, it enables biometric payments and tracks a person’s purchases and brands of choice. This information would be visible to other people, who could scan the device with their smartphone and instantly see the digital fashion profile of the user.
There are no plans to develop any of the ideas into fully-fledged products yet, but the aim is inspire Visa’s partners and to unlock new ways of thinking in the wearable payments space.