Apple’s purchase of Oakland, Calif.-based and its patents will help it support mobile payment functions for its new iWatch using low-power Near Field Communication technology. The iWatch is expected to launch later this year.
While mobile payments using watches, fobs, and bracelets is not new technology, Apple’s foray into the space will give it some street cred, especially with partnerships with suppliers like Visa and Square and merchants that sell Apple products.
Passif Semiconductor Corp patents and technology will help Apple quickly address an issue it is encountering with very short battery life for its upcoming smart watch.
Disney World sells ‘MagicBands’ to its guests to pay for in-park purchases. Other theme parks have also dabbled in wristbands, with mixed results.
ExxonMobile has given away millions of RFID-enabled keyfobs since it launched Speedpass in 1997. Timex once sold a Speedpass-enabled watch, without any success. The $50 watch was introduced in 2002 and was pulled after a brief stint.
TransCard LLC and Watch2Pay LLC in the U.S. is developing a mobile payment watch with MasterCard PayPass chip technology.
Nathan Performance (http://www.nathansports.com/) and Visa Inc. is introducing a contactless payment wristband for athletes, targeting runners and bikers.