Wearable tech from Sony could bring mobile payments to the wrist

Sony wearable tech NFC technology
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The company’s FeliCa smartcard chip is being prepared for use in smartwatches and other wearables.

Recent technology news reports are now showing that Sony is looking to take part in a whole new level of wearable tech, with the creation of a chip that could allow smartwatches and other devices of this nature to be capable of contactless mobile payments.

This could help to convert the wearables industry into products that are more appealing and multifunctional.

An option for mobile ticketing and payments could also make the necessary difference in convincing consumers to actually purchase mobile tech. It is believed that there is a large and growing segment of consumers who are interested in products such as smartwatches, but who are holding out until they feel that the technology has become adequately developed and that it will be attractive and functional enough to be worth the added considerable price tag above and beyond what they have already paid for their smartphones and perhaps even tablets.

The FeliCa Networks subsidiary of Sony is now creating a contactless card specifically for wearable tech devices.

Sony wearable tech NFC technologyThis will mean that the FeliCa contactless card technology – which has already achieved widespread use throughout Japan in e-payments and public transit fares – will become available in wearables. The new design will involve a low-power chip that can be fitted into smartwatches, smartbands, and other types of small connected gadget that is designed to be worn on the body. This will give wearers the ability to take advantage of transit functions, pay with contactless money, or gain access to restricted areas (as opposed to using a security card, for example).

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The idea is that when someone wears a smartwatch or other device in the wearables category that is enabled with this chip, they would be able to board a bus or train simply by waving the gadget over a reader. This would effectively eliminate the requirement for a separate card or pass.

A spokesperson for FeliCa Networks commented on the wearable tech chip, saying that “The wearables field is just beginning so we’re considering what users will want with this functionality as well as what degree of compactness and power savings it will have.”

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