Visa unveils one ring to rule all contactless payments, at least at the 2016 Olympics
Smart rings may not be quite as old as time, but plenty of tech startups have attempted to move at least part of the magic currently going on in your hands, pockets and around your wrists to your fingers in the past couple of years.
We even have reason to believe industry veterans and leaders like Samsung and Apple are quietly working behind the scenes to integrate various ways to control phones, tablets and PCs on tomorrow’s intelligent rings.
For the time being, though, we’re afraid you need to settle for a similar prototype developed by multinational financial services giant Visa to enable quick, simple and secure payments on the go. By “you”, we unfortunately mean a group of 45 Team Visa athletes that will be given the rough-around-the-edges product to try out at the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer in Rio.
There’s no word on the test run going any wider anytime soon, let alone turning into a full-blown commercial rollout, but for the most part, the NFC-capable ring appears to be functioning adequately.
Some extra features would of course be nice, though even if it only gets contactless payments right, Visa could have a winner on its… fingers. Especially with the straightforward ceramic band resisting water interaction up to 50 meters deep, and not requiring a battery to work.
How does it work? You just hover it over an NFC-enabled point-of-sale terminal, like you’d do with a contactless debit or credit card, until you hear a beep and see a transaction approval message. No phone necessary, and obviously, no more carrying your wallet around… if you’re Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin.