India – Delhi Metro Introduces Smartwatch for Travel

By | July 20, 2017

Delhi’s Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) has introduced a system of wearable tech payment for travellers on its metro system. As of June 2017, passengers on Delhi’s extensive rail network will be able to use smartwatches as a form of smart card for entering and exiting the system.

Working in collaboration with company LAKS GmbH, DMRC launched the innovative product as part of a drive to further integrate smart technology into Delhi’s often over-subscribed public transport system. Manufactured in Austria by LAKS, the smartwatches will be available to purchase online. LAKS have experience in this field, having cooperated with Hyderabad Metro Rail to create a similar scheme in 2015.

The DMRC have christened this scheme Watch2Pay and sought to advance upon existing schemes in other major cities, such as London’s Oyster card system and New York’s MTA Card. As we’ve written elsewhere, urban travel and public transport in India is ripe for disruption and, in this instance, DMRC seem ahead of the curve. The DMRC smartwatch will cost Rs 6,000 per year and feature a small sim card. The watch is fully rechargeable and does not require a mobile network to function. To top up their travel credit, users can make payments online or through recharge terminals in DMRC stations. In a statement, DMRC said:

“These watches are available through an online e-commerce site. The new facility is expected to provide commuters with a more convenient and faster access to the Delhi Metro network. The commuter will simply have to touch the watch to the screens of the AFC [Automatic Fare Collection] gates at the metro stations to get access.”

This initiative from the DMRC illustrates the extent to which smartwatches are becoming more and more commonplace in everyday life. At either end of the market, smartwatch technology is becoming more ubiquitous. In addition to the Fitbit and Apple’s foray into the market, even luxury watch manufacturers such a Tag Heuer are beginning to feature smart technology within their range of products.

Designed to tackle congestion and queues at ticketing machines, the Watch2Pay system is the first of its kind to utilize touchless payments. The smartwatch advances on the BMRC’s existing work with technology. In 2013, the DMRC developed an app for its users on Android and iOS. This app enabled commuters to search for Metro stations, check travel fares, plan routes, parking information, and receive up-to-date notifications on congestion in the network.

Source: Silicon India News

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