The first time I heard about NFC was when it was implemented in Android 2.3, and the Google Nexus S featured it, but it’s quite older than that, as the initial specifications were published in 2006, and the very first phone to feature the technology was Nokia 6131. If you’ve ever been to Hong Kong, you may have used Octopus cards which are used for contactless payments for public transport and shopping. Those cards use Felica RFID technology which is part of NFC, and has also been included in some watches (since 2010), so you can easily pay for subway or bus by hovering your watch on the card reader. I’ve been wondering why I could not see more of those, and I think NFC may be a feature of upcoming smart watches, so I started to look for existing solutions this morning, and found Payper NFC Watch designed by LAKS, and first announced in 2011.
Payper NFC watch as the following specifications:
- Contactless Interface – Mifare S 50, Mifare S 70 or Legic Prime MIM 256embedded PCB/tuned, UID chip number etched on watch case optional
- Operating Distance – Read/Write Range up to 5 cm
- RFID Antenna – Integrated coil antenna
- Water Resistant – Up to 30 meters
- Watch Movement – Seiko Epson with Date Function
- Watch Battery – 1,5 V SR 621 SW; approx. 3 Years, changeable
- Dimensions – 255mm (L) x 36mm (W) x 9,6MM (H)
- Weight – 20 gram
- Operating Temperature – -5 C to 50 C
The company also provide NFC readers, together with an SDK, and a web-based based Terminal Management System to remotely monitor and update the readers. You can find more information on Payter Watch page.
This is not a model individuals can buy directly, since the system needs to be customized to be compatible with the local payment systems. As I complete this post, I found the Rumbatime Go NFC watch which, despite an interesting concept, had a failed Kikcstarter campaign in 2011. You could configure this watch to be used with Visa credit card, and use it to easily pay on Visa Paywave terminals. The service has however been discontinued due to lack of adaption.
Apart from Hong Kongers, can you use NFC watches to make contactless payments in your country?