Smartwatches and Mobile Payments – is it the Future? : a blog around the use of mobile technology in anti-counterfeiting and the future of smartwatches.
A few weeks ago, I attended the “Digital Innovation Summit” hosted by the Financial Times (FT). The summit was intended to be an overview for FT readers about current trends in digital innovation and technology. The purpose was to identify where innovation will make a difference, how to manage it and how it can create value.
The overarching themes were:
1) What are current technological developments?
2) What are they meant for?
3) What impact do they have on businesses, individuals and societies?
One session that really caught my attention was about Apple’s Pay. The focus of this discussion was whether Apple had found a ‘killer application’ with its Pay payment solution. Could it be that Apple’s new payment system could become a real game changer for the company? For example, could the introduction of this new payment solution be a catalyst for other innovations such as smartwatches?
Smartwatches and Mobile Payments – is it the Future?
11th Sep, 2014
The press has been filled with articles about how smartwatches are going to take the world by storm. The Google Watch, the Samsung Gear, even the Apple iWatch (rumoured) are all supposed to be coming soon. Or so we hear. I’d say that we will see them at some point, but I’m not sure how soon. What I do know is that smartwatches will not take off until more people have smartphones and there is a use for a watch with a small screen that you can use to make mobile payments.
Mobile payments is also a major subject in the press these days with Apple Pay rumoured to be launching in October and Google Wallet offering mobile payment through Android phones since 2011. But what are we talking about when we say “mobile payments?” For some people it means paying for things with your cell phone, which you can already do in many places if your phone has an NFC chip and your bank is set up to use it. For others it means paying on your smartphone or tablet using an app like Starbucks or PayPal. There is even a company called Square that offers credit card readers that work with mobile
Smartwatches have been available for a while now, but they have not really caught on as a niche product. One of the key criticisms is that they are just too big and bulky to be worn on the wrist. It appears that this may be about to change.
Last week Apple sent out media invitations to an event in San Francisco on 9 September 2014, adding fuel to speculation that it will launch its long-rumoured wristwatch. It was reported that the company has asked manufacturing partners to produce between 3 million and 5 million units of the watch by the end of this year.
This news got me thinking about what impact wearable technology could have on anti-counterfeiting and how smartwatches could revolutionize consumer purchasing habits.
The use of mobile phone technology in anti-counterfeiting (m-authentication) is already being used; for example, you can download an app from Diageo to check whether your bottle of Smirnoff vodka is genuine or not by scanning a QR code. This seems like a great idea and I am sure it works well for consumers who are aware of this service and have downloaded the app. However, this solution doesn’t solve all issues related to counterfeiting; counterfeiters could easily copy the QR codes or
Over the past decade, we have witnessed a revolution in mobile technology. The change in the way we communicate, work and play is remarkable. The next wave of innovation is now upon us with the launch of Apple Pay, Android Wear and Fitbit Flex.
The potential for these new technologies to be used in anti-counterfeiting is immense as they promise to provide an additional channel for digital watermarking and authentication of products to consumers.
Smartwatches are wearable devices that connect to a user’s smartphone via Bluetooth (typically) and can deliver alerts, notifications, messages and calls directly to the user’s wrist. Smartwatches are not new – they were first introduced into the market in the early 2000s with limited success. However, recent technological advances such as flexible displays, smaller batteries and faster processors have helped this relatively new product category gain significant popularity over the last year or so. According to analyst firm Canalys, shipments of smartwatches increased from just 300 000 units in 2012 to over 5 million units in 2013.
The smartphone has become a central part of our daily lives and it is one of the most important devices for communication, information and entertainment. But how far can we go with mobile technology? We were wondering how mobile technology could be used in anti-counterfeiting and how smartphones will be used in the future.
At the MWC 2014 several new devices were presented which give you more freedom and flexibility to leave your smartphone in your pocket. With smartwatches, like the Gear Fit, Gear 2 Neo or Pebble Steel, you can make calls and get notifications on your wrist. It seems that the market for smartwatches is growing rapidly. According to eMarketer, global shipments of smartwatches are expected to grow from 4.6 million units in 2013 to nearly 45 million by 2017. An interesting question is whether such small devices will really push smartphones out of fashion or whether they will become a complement to them because they are not powerful enough to replace them. If they don’t replace smartphones they will probably still be used in combination with them. So what is their added value?
First of all it gives you more freedom because you don’t have to take your phone out of your pocket anymore if you want to check who sent you a message or if you have missed
The Apple Watch, Apple Pay and the anti-counterfeiting device that detects duplicate credit cards are all examples of a new mobile technology.
Mobile technology is an exciting and fast moving area. It is predicted that by 2020 there will be more than 40 billion Internet-connected devices, according to IT research company Gartner and this will only increase further with the advent of the Internet of Things.
The development of smartwatches is one such example of this trend. They are likely to become commonplace once the price drops, although for now they might seem somewhat superfluous. Whilst many experts still debate whether the smartwatch will be able to replace your smartphone, there are some key advantages:
You can tell what time it is without having to take your phone out of your pocket or bag – especially useful in formal business meetings;
You can read messages and emails on your watch;
The ability to make contactless payments means you don’t have to carry cash or credit cards anymore;
More apps are becoming available which can help with everyday tasks such as keeping track of your exercise routine, setting reminders, controlling your music player etc.
The future of wearable technology and mobile payments is already here.
Smartwatches are more than just a trendy gadget for tech-savvy consumers. They can also be used as a pre-payment tool at the point-of-sale, which could potentially reduce the use of cash in daily transactions, especially in the EU. This would have an impact on counterfeiters and tax fraudsters who rely on cash to evade taxes.
According to a recent study by Juniper Research, the number of smartwatch owners will reach almost 100 million by 2018, with Apple Watch predicted to be the biggest driver of growth.
Wearables are not only limited to smartwatches but also include other devices such as smart glass, fitness bands and activity trackers, which all have their own distinctive features. The greatest potential for wearables lies in their ability to connect with other devices and applications like mobile phones or even cars in real time and react instantly to specific actions.
The future success of wearable technology largely depends on whether consumers will perceive it as useful enough to convince them that they need it in their daily lives. Wearable equipment that is perceived as an interesting gadget might attract initial interest, but if it does not provide users with new services or added value, it is unlikely that