Have you caught a glimpse of the Apple Watch? The high end wearable designed for use with your iPhone won’t be hitting the wrists of consumers until April, but that doesn’t mean a few Apple employees haven’t been the privilege of showing off the new smart accessory. Reports out of Cupertino have detailed Apple Watch sightings as employees take to field testing the one wearable to (potentially) rule them all.
Additionally, according to MacRumors, some particularly high profile developers have been asked by Apple to have their wearable apps ready to launch by the middle of this month. of particular interest is the MacRumors report that an Apple Pay partner has been asked to have its app ready for February 12.
Apple Pay, the mobile wallet launched on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, allows for point of sale financial transactions authenticated by the biometric Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Leveraging the new iPhones’ NFC capabilities, the payment method is similar to a tap-to-pay credit card, only more secure and with online functionality.
The Apple Watch fits into this mCommerce solution thanks to its own NFC technology. Those early adopters who migrate their iLife to their wrist in April will be able to add even more convenience to their shopping situation with the ability to pay with a tap of the wrist.
The Apple Watch payment function is not biometrically protected, and requires instead that a PIN be entered on the watch to authorize a transaction. That said, the iPhone itself, which securely houses all of the payment data, acts as a second factor required for payment processing, bolstering the security beyond that of a normal PIN. If the phone is not present, the watch can’t work, let alone perform a financial transaction.
Wearable payment technology is only just emerging, and some of it touts new and exciting biometric modalities. The Nymi Wristband, for instance, is capable of making payments authenticated by a user’s unique EKG reading.