Not so long, about 10 years ago, if someone had told you that you could process a payment transaction with your watch, you’d probably laugh. But things have changed in an enormous speed and since last few years, this definitely possible and there are people actually doing this now.
This has been possible by a company -Laks, whose vision is beyond most of the people in both card payments and watch industry. Laks is a Vienna based company developing very cool watches that have a dual interface chip slot and the watch has an antenna inside the watch. The antenna plugs into a specific type of SIM sized dual interface chip produced specifically to fit in this environment. There is the possibility of running many applications on the chip. Actually there is the possibility of requesting any kind of chip in this form, which means that sky is the limit for implementing a chip application inside a watch. Laks also has native mifare chip embedded into the watch. Although I’ve never asked, I am sure that they can fit any kind of chip inside a watch.
Watches come with the antenna, while the dual interface chips do not necessarily. If so, personalization process must be processed while the chip is in the watch, which is something hard to do when personalizing huge volumes.
In Turkey, Garanti Bank launched a product based on Laks watches a few years ago. It was a little bit early, however it was still a very innovative product. In Turkey, there were efforts to develop a payment product based on Laks’ watches, which some of them had already passed the proof of concept phase, unfortunately they were never launched.
Maybe, the commercialization did not happen due to the fact that watch is a personal thing (like a mobile phone in the NFC case) and a payment product bundled in a personal stuff might not sound good to people. But I am sure there will be some contactless projects based on watches and Laks will definitely have a big role in this picture. There are more interesting watches other than having a contactless capability in Laks’ web site, worth to visit.