Determining the future of payments will not be an easy feat, even though various companies around the world are trying to come up with new and attractive payment options. Wearables have been considered to be the next logical step in the evolution of contactless payments for quite some time now. But what if smart fabrics are proving to be a better alternative? Integrating payments into smart fabrics could be a major challenge though.
Technology allows us to achieve many great things, and drastically changes the way our society works and thinks. That being said, the payment industry has seen little innovation in the past twenty years, and alternative payment solutions are popping up all over the world. Finding the ”next big thing” in this industry will take time though, but smart fabrics present a compelling case.
Combining fashion with technology has been tried before, although it has never turned out to be a major success. Google Glass is perhaps the most notorious fashion statement in the technology world, yet initial interest in the project has started to dwindle. Wearing a pair of glasses with a camera on your face all day just doesn’t sound that appealing to consumers just yet.
Furthermore, the Apple Watch is not such a great success either. Although the device is a very sleek watch with a fair bit of technological prowess under the hood, consumers just stopped loving their Apple Watch for some reason. Perhaps the novelty of it wore off, or maybe it requires slightly too much effort to use properly.
Smart fabrics, on the other hand, seem to make a lot more sense from a fashion point of view. Not only would our clothing be equipped with a variety of sensors to measure our heart rate and whatnot, but it could also prove to be a platform for new payment methods. Whether or not that will be completely frictionless, remains to be seen, no pun intended.
Ralph Lauren has been working on a whole new line of clothing that is technology-enabled. Picture a tennis short monitoring the heart rat,e breathing, and stress on ball. It doesn’t take much imagination to add payment options to that list of interesting features in the future.
Rather than embedding technology into one’s skin – or even tattoos – clothing provides a more elegant way of hiding these new features. As the technology would be embedded into the garment itself, there should be no worries when it comes to washing favorite clothes and rendering them useless.
This opens a few interesting options for Bitcoin payments in the future. Paying for goods and services simply by having someone scan your shirt – or moving through a special payment “detector”, if you will – would be an interesting concept for Bitcoin. After all, it is the only currency that can be used around the world without friction.
What are your thoughts on the future of smart fabrics? Will we ever use this concept to make payments with our clothing? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Ralph Lauren, Shutterstock, We Wear Smartwear
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