Pebble Times will soon support wrist payments if you back this smart strap Kickstarter
Wearable devices are slowly finding their groove and utility, acting like more than glorified pedometers or classic, dumb watches incapable of quickly telling the time when distanced from a smartphone.
Still, the Apple Watch remains essentially the only mainstream wrist-worn gadget endowed with mobile payment functionality, at least until Samsung Pay support is finally added to the Gear S2’s bag of tricks. And until Pagaré materializes, which should happen around July, if FitPay can raise at least $120,000 by March 9.
Currently at almost $70K, the “smart strap” concept is endorsed by Pebble, but its lesser known makers have to gather the funds needed to mass-manufacture the accessory themselves to prove the smartwatch pioneer there’s indeed demand for contactless transactions enabled even when away from your phone.
If you hurry, you can net an early bird discount from the eventual MSRP of $89 to $69, the price obviously not covering the Time, Time Steel or Time Round. What you’ll be getting is a band made from the same materials and coated in the same colors as regular Pebble straps, just fitted with a flexible NFC antenna and USB connector for easy charging of both the smartwatch and intelligent leash.
If everything goes according to plan, more than 9 million point of sale terminals worldwide will support on-the-go Pebble payments, including retailers like McDonald’s, GameStop, Office Depot, Subway, Staples, Toys R Us, and Foot Locker.
That’s merely the beginning, mind you, as Pagaré should make public transit payments and ticketing possible down the line too, protected by “multiple layers of security” and leveraging the “same card network service as Apple Pay.” Intrigued? Then why not put your money where your mouth is? Every “donation” will be greatly appreciated.