Olympic Innovation 3.0
Official Olympic sponsor Visa has been using the 2016 Games to showcase its newest innovations in payment, courtesy of wearable tech. The company released two prototype payment wearables; the Visa Payment Ring and Bracelet, which can be used at around 4,000 contactless Points of Sale throughout the Olympic Park and at all Olympic Venues. The bracelet has been made available for purchase exclusively in Brazil, whilst the ring has only been given to 45 athletes from Team Visa.
Both wearables were designed, says Visa, with Olympians in mind- after all, between a multitude of training sessions, press obligations and social events, it must be hard to keep track of your wallet. But with so many athletes opting for fitness trackers such as Garmin and Polar devices, would they really want another device to wear? Whilst Visa should be praised for their innovation- pushing the barriers of how we pay, as opposed to resting on their Olympic laurels – I do wonder how many athletes, let alone regular citizens, would want to add a separate payment wearable to their arsenal. Perhaps the future lies in a smart wearable that allows you to do both- but I imagine Apple is already on the case!