How Inamo’s Surfer CEO Turned Sunglasses, Watches Into Contactless Payment Wearables

By | April 7, 2017

Visa Australia recently introduced WaveShades, an interesting twist on contactless payments technology, with the help of Australian surfer-focused wearable payment startup Inamo and a fellow Aussie company, sunglass maker Local Supply.

WaveShades are Local Supply sunglasses with a small Inamo secure payment chip embedded in one arm of the glasses. The sunglasses allow wearers to pay for items at most point of sale stations with contactless payment options, specifically Visa payWave. WaveShades allow users to preload specific amounts of money in order to avoid the possibility of a lost pair of glasses leading to a ton of fraudulent charges.

Visa introduced a similar contactless payment wearable, its connected payment ring, at RIO 2016Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown showed off the Visa payment ring during Super Bowl festivities.

The global financial services and credit card company debuted its new sunglass technology at the five Australian legs of the St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival in early 2017, offering some music festival attendees the chance to test out the new contactless payment-enabled sunglasses. The contactless payment shades were also recently featured at the South by Southwest Conference.

The recent debut of WaveShades was a pilot that could result in them being sold in the future. WaveShades technology provider and partner, Inamo, which according to its website, stands for freedom, convenience and peace of mind, is offering its CURL contactless payment wearable as part of another pilot.

The genesis of Inamo dates back to late 2015 when founder Peter Colbert, a former Honeywell engineer turned professional surfing power agent, forgot his wallet when he was surfing. From there, Colbert began to think about how he could detach himself from his wallet while surfing and still be able to pay for things.

Colbert designed a small durable, waterproof, and power-free rubber case with two flexible loops on either side that attach to most watches, key rings, jewelry, and fitness bands. The tiny light-weight product was designed by a surfer for people who want to live an active lifestyle.

CURL users add prepaid amounts of money to the small NFC chip that is then securely inserted into the tight rubber pocket. Users then simply tap their CURL wearable at any point of sale station where Visa payWave is accepted.

“Given that Australia is world-renowned for its beaches and surfing culture, it only makes sense that we are the leaders when it comes to inventing wearable, waterproof technology that does away with cash, cards, and wallets,” Colbert said in a statement.

Curl officially launched in December when the embedded security software company Oberthur Technologies partnered with Inamo to provide the startup with its digital payment technology. The surfer-friendly wearable is not currently for sale on Inamo’s website, but Australian’s can sign up for one online.

Source: Sport Techie

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