Paying bills with the blink of an eye

By Cassandra Mason

Kieran Waelen wears Google Glass during a demonstration of how wearable technology will impact digital banking. Photo / Greg Bowker
Kieran Waelen wears Google Glass during a demonstration of how wearable technology will impact digital banking. Photo / Greg Bowker

Technology being developed in Auckland will in future allow Kiwis to pay their bills just by looking at them.

Mobile payment developers Fiserv demonstrated their software using Google Glass in Auckland today.

A voice command, three gentle taps on the side of the device and holding the bill up to the glasses is all it takes to make a payment.

The technology was designed and developed in Auckland as part of the company's Mobiliti platform - a mobile payment system used by more than 1800 banks, including ANZ.

While Google Glass isn't yet available here, its debut on the market is in the pipeline.

The model demonstrated today is a prototype for developers and hardcore technology lovers only.

The "consumer version" of Google Glass, complete with applications and a less intrusive look, is set to be rolled out in the United States and parts of Europe soon.

It's hoped New Zealand would follow not long afterwards.

Making payments with the device has its attractions, but the success of the technology hinges on people feeling comfortable wearing them, said Kieran Waelen, analyst from Mcom, which is owned by Fiserv.

"They don't integrate well into the face," he said.

"[But] the first BlackBerrys weren't used because they were stylish."

The current model retails at USD $1500, despite costing Google $200 to make.

Once Google Glass was being more widely used, the price would drop, but bringing the technology to the masses was very much a work in progress, Mr Waelen said.

"When the smart phone first came out it had no apps. You could call, text and check your emails and that was it."

How it works:

- Google Glass connects to any regular wifi or bluetooth connection

- A tiny screen to the top right of the eye displays the screen

- Tapping and sliding a finger along the arm of the spectacles works as a control to navigate through the screens

- It also responds to voice commands

- The device reads the code on the the bill and automatically makes the appropriate payment from your account, saving a copy of the receipt

- APNZ

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