British banking corporation Barclays has adapted its near field communication (NFC) payment technology for the wearables market – as demonstrated by the Contactless Jacket, created with Scottish luxury menswear label Lyle & Scott.
Barclays’ NFC mobile payment service bPay allows customers to send money from any bank account to a digital wallet. The wallet is accessible via a number of devices, including a wristband, a key fob, the bPay sticker (which can be stuck onto items such as smartphones) – and now the Contactless Jacket.
The jacket has been designed with a small pouch in the sleeve cuff, where a Barclays bPay chip can be kept. This will enable the wearer to make payments of up to £30 ($46) by simply touching their cuff on any contactless payment terminal.
While the jacket may seem little more than a gimmick to some, the project is grounded in a solid appetite for wearable tech; the market is set to boom, with units to ship projected to reach 116 million devices by 2017 (Juniper Research, 2014). See Wearable Technology Show 2015, Tech’s Fashionable Tipping Point and GlazedCon 2014: Wearable Tech for more.
As contactless payment becomes increasingly popular (UK shoppers have spent more than £2.5bn ($3.8bn) on contactless cards so far this year), point-of-sale solutions that permit quick, convenient transactions are more relevant than ever. See our reports on New Transactions Tech and Subtle In-Store Tech for more.