“Oh, you’re paying with your phone? That’s cute. I’m paying with my watch.”
That’s what I’d be saying if the Pagaré NFC Smartstrap met its Kickstarter goal, shipped to Canada and worked with my credit card provider. Unfortunately it’s not going to be shipping to Canada at launch, but when it does I’ll be ready—because this nifty little hardware innovation only works with Pebble Time.
So what’s a smartstrap? I’ll let Pebble explain:
With the new smart accessory port on the back of Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel, it is possible to create straps with electronics built-in to improve the capabilities of the watch itself. These hardware pieces are called smartstraps and can potentially host many electronic components from LEDs, to temperature sensors, or even external batteries to boost battery life.
Pagaré uses the accessory port and a custom band to basically replicate your credit card on your wrist:
The USB connector is for charging your watch, as the regular charging port on the back will be busy making mobile payments possible. You can manage your credit cards through the Pebble app on your phone, and for security a PIN will be required every time you strap your Pebble to your wrist. Best of all for this Android modder is that a rooted phone is irrelevant in this equation—all the secure elements for NFC payments are on the watch!
I’ve written before about the joys of wrist-based payments with JavaPay, and this smartstrap solution seems even more enticing. Can’t say I’m especially hopeful for a Canadian release though, since as we all know, this country can’t have nice things.