Sunglasses may soon be able to do more than take your picture. At SXSW on Tuesday, Visa revealed a prototype pair that can be used to pay for purchases. A small NFC chip resides in one of the arms and is linked to the user’s Visa account. So, rather than swiping a debit card or punching in a pin, the user will simply tap the payment terminal to complete the transaction.
“It ties back to our tagline of everywhere you want to be,” said Chris Curtin, Visa’s chief brand and innovation marketing officer, told CNBC. “Without it it’s hard for us to fulfill our tagline. Our view is we take form factors that you don’t expect to be payment-enabled like sunglasses or maybe like a ring and expose to the market that maybe it can be.”
The glasses aren’t available for sale yet. Visa is reportedly testing the marketing waters to gauge demand for them and potentially hook a brand or bank to sponsor the rollout. And what better place to test them for real-world interest than at SXSW, where the lack of Ubers and Lyfts have utterly confounded some of tech’s best and brightest influencers?