Stylish wristwatch has contactless payment tech sealed in crystal
Swiss watch smart glass maker Winwatch has teamed up with mobile payments company MuchBetter for an analog wristwatch that can make contactless payments thanks to technology hidden in its sapphire crystal.
Sony's wena wristband can bring some smarts like contactless payments to any old wristwatch, and Swatch Pay puts an NFC radio chip below a watch's dial, but Winwatch says that the MuchBetter watch is the first to use its STISS technology.
STISS stands for Swiss Technology Inside Smart Sapphire, a sapphire glass that has a high-security, battery-free contactless payment chip and antenna sealed within it. That chip is protected by a notch showing the contactless payment symbol that's positioned between the four and five on the face of MuchBetter watch, while the antenna runs around the rim and is hidden by a silver coating.
The technology allows the wearer, after setup through a companion app and a five year token activated, to pay for items in stores where Mastercard contactless is accepted by holding their watch above a terminal just like you would with a credit card. Watch wearers don't need to carry their smartphone with them to use the service, though funds can subsequently be transferred to the MuchBetter wallet via smartphone.
The watch itself has an ETA Swiss chronograph quartz movement and stainless steel case. It's waterproof to 50 meters (164 ft) and comes with a black rubber strap.
"By combining our world-first STISS capabilities with MuchBetter’s best-in-class e-money solutions we have created a truly unique, affordable luxury product," said Winwatch's CEO Alex Kalbermatten. "With our STISS glass and its non-invasive and straightforward implementation, Winwatch is the perfect link between the watchmaking world and the new and increasing needs in the competition for the place on the wrist. As a next step we will also offer our STISS glasses to the world’s leading watch brand manufacturers."
The MuchBetter watch is available now CHF 295 (about US$300).
Product page: MuchBetter watch