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Google Glass - Transaction World Magazine - Wearable Payment Devices in Generation-M!


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Something interesting happened to me since the last article I wrote for Transaction World Magazine. I entered a contest and was consequently selected to be one of the first people in America to get Google Glass, the smartphone-esque headset that you wear on your face.

The @ProjectGlass #GlassExplorers were selected from those contest entrants who submitted their response that responded to a hashtag #Ifihadglass. Mine was fairly simple and straightforward, I posted a picture of a foggy causeway upon which I commute to work every day along with the phrase, “I’d see everything differently.”

Apparently this captured someone’s imagination and I was selected. To be quite honest, I completely forgot about the contest until I much later received a direct message from the @projectglass Twitter presence stating I had won. As of this writing Google has started fulfilling the orders of the 8,000 winners, but I’ve yet to receive my invitation to make an appointment to be fitted.

While I “won” the contest, there is a $1,500.00 price tag, so I guess you could actually say that I won the opportunity to purchase this headset before it is available to the general public.

So let’s talk about this groundbreaking new technology. Basically the units are similar to an Android mobile phone using a different form factor.

Glass headsets connect to an Android or iOS model phone and utilize the phone’s data connection to send and receive information. Mounted on the front of the headset armature, above the user’s right eye, is a forward-facing digital camera that can record video and still images that can be shared in real-time to your contacts and social networks. Glass also sports a prism that faces the user and a small screen is projected onto its surface.

Early users report that the viewing experience is similar to looking at a 25” screen about eight feet away. Bone-conducting transducers transfer the sound to the inside of the user’s head and there is a touch-sensitive arm that is used to navigate the user interface. A minute microphone inside the headset allows for voice commands.

I’ll be able to initiate directions, searches, image capture and more by saying “OK Glass …”

But wait a minute you say; this is a payments magazine – what’s all this talk about prisms and bone-conducting transducers? Well, dear reader, hold on to your hat – because this headset or something like it is the stepping-stone to the next wave of payments.

Now read closely I don’t want you to think I’m not a fan of mobile payments, I’m a big advocate. But the problem with mobile payments is the mobile part. Other than storing account information and displaying transactions and current status, there’s no real reason to pull out your phone rather than your wallet. Yes NFC is cool and can initiate some wonderful transactions. But in a market that’s already saturated with payment terminals at every point-of-sale, there ha

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Google Glass - Transaction World Magazine - Wearable Payment Devices in Generation-M!

  1. 1. TECHNOLOGY | Transaction World Magazine | August 2013 Wearable Payment Devices in Generation-M! by Bruce Burke Something  interesting  happened  to  me  since  the  last  article  I  wrote   for  Transaction  World  Magazine.  I  entered  a  contest  and  was   consequently  selected  to  be  one  of  the  first  people  in  America  to  get   Google  Glass,  the  smartphone-­‐esque  headset  that  you  wear  on  your   face.       The  @ProjectGlass  #GlassExplorers  were  selected  from  those  contest   entrants  who  submitted  their  response  that  responded  to  a  hashtag   #ifihadglass.    Mine  was  fairly  simple  and  straightforward,  I  posted  a   picture  of  a  foggy  causeway  upon  which  I  commute  to  work  every   day  along  with  the  phrase,  “I’d  see  everything  differently.”       Apparently  this  captured  someone’s  imagination  and  I  was  selected.   To  be  quite  honest,  I  completely  forgot  about  the  contest  until  I   much  later  received  a  direct  message  from  the  @ProjectGlass   Twitter  presence  stating  I  had  won.  As  of  this  writing  Google  has   started  fulfilling  the  orders  of  the  8,000  winners,  but  I’ve  yet  to  receive  my  invitation  to  make  an  appointment  to  be  fitted.  While  I  “won”  the  contest,   there  is  a  $1,500.00  price  tag,  so  I  guess  you  could  actually  say  that  I  won  the  opportunity  to  purchase  this  headset  before  it  is  available  to  the  general   public.       So  let’s  talk  about  this  groundbreaking  new  technology.  Basically  the  units  are  similar  to  an  Android  mobile  phone  using  a  different  form  factor.  Glass   headsets  connect  to  an  Android  or  iOS  model  phone  and  utilize  the  phone’s  data  connection  to  send  and  receive  information.  Mounted  on  the  front  of   the  headset  armature,  above  the  user’s  right  eye,  is  a  forward-­‐facing  digital  camera  that  can  record  video  and  still  images  that  can  be  shared  in  real-­‐ time  to  your  contacts  and  social  networks.       Glass  also  sports  a  prism  that  faces  the  user  and  a  small  screen  is  projected  onto  its  surface.  Early  users  report  that  the  viewing  experience  is  similar  to   looking  at  a  25”  screen  about  eight  feet  away.  Bone-­‐conducting  transducers  transfer  the  sound  to  the  inside  of  the  user’s  head  and  there  is  a  touch-­‐ sensitive  arm  that  is  used  to  navigate  the  user  interface.  A  minute  microphone  inside  the  headset  allows  for  voice  commands.    I’ll  be  able  to  initiate   directions,  searches,  image  capture  and  more  by  saying  “OK  Glass  …”     But  wait  a  minute  you  say;  this  is  a  payments  magazine  –  what’s  all  this  talk  about  prisms  and  bone-­‐conducting  transducers?  Well,  dear  reader,  hold  on   to  your  hat  –  because  this  headset  or  something  like  it  is  the  stepping-­‐stone  to  the  next  wave  of  payments.  Now  read  closely  I  don’t  want  you  to  think   I’m  not  a  fan  of  mobile  payments,  I’m  a  big  advocate.  But  the  problem  with  mobile  payments  is  the  mobile  part.  Other  than  storing  account  information   and  displaying  transactions  and  current  status,  there’s  no  real  reason  to  pull  out  your  phone  rather  than  your  wallet.    Yes  NFC  is  cool  and  can  initiate   some  wonderful  transactions.  But  in  a  market  that’s  already  saturated  with  payment  terminals  at  every  point-­‐of-­‐sale,  there  has  yet  to  be  a  pervasive   use  case.       Yes  it  makes  complete  sense  in  an  emerging  market  where  mobile  networks  are  the  only  available  networks.  When  touch  points  aren’t  plentiful  and   communities  can  grow  and  flourish  from  the  introduction  of  mobile  financial  services  and  from  their  implementation  and  use,  mobile  payments  make   complete  sense.  But  in  metropolitan  communities  in  the  U.S.  many  feel  we  are  ready  for  mobile  applications  beyond  just  payments.  Enter  the  realm  of   innovative,  hands-­‐free,  seamless  technology  solutions  like  Google  Glass.             I  don’t  know  about  you  but  when  I  look  at  Glass  all  I  see  is  dollar  signs.  I  see  real-­‐time,  in-­‐aisle  checkout  by  simply  scanning  a  shelf  tag  or  taking  a  picture   of  an  object.  I  see  purchases  completed  with  gestures  to  indicate  which  payment  vehicle  to  use  and  a  wink  to  signify  that  it’s  ok  to  process  the   transaction.  I  see  the  ability  to  say  ‘buy  what  I’m  looking  at  right  now  from  Amazon  and  ship  it  to  my  house.’  Both  shipping  and  payment  information  is   stored  in  the  cloud  so  it’s  a  simplified  transaction.             I  could  go  on  and  on  for  quite  awhile  about  the  many  different  use  cases  for  such  a  device.  It  could  be  used  as  a  payment  reminder  and  fulfillment   service.  It  could  include  loyalty  and  reward  capabilities  by  incorporating  a  quick  scan  of  a  QR  code.  It  can  be  and  will  be  many  different  things  in  the   years  to  come.       We  are  living  in  the  midst  of  great  change  and  we  are  perched  on  the  precipice  of  a  whole  new  era  of  computing,  interfacing  and  of  electronic   transactions.  What’s  next?  Sometimes  it’s  hard  to  tell  but  I’m  almost  certain  our  future  will  include  wearable  technology  that  merit  mass  adoption  and   uptake  –  especially  in  relation  to  mobile  financial  services.