Who’d have thought that a potential wearable game-changer would come from a healthcare technology company?
Actually, that’s a pretty reasonable source of innovation. MC10, Inc. is a healthcare technology company specializing in stretchable body-worn computing systems, and its products include things like BioStamp Research Connect that gathers physiological data and is flexible enough to adapt to the body’s movements – a useful feature to consider when thinking about what could make payment wearables more popular.
The company has partnered with PCH, which designs custom product solutions for startups and Fortune 500 companies, “to commercialize MC10’s Wearable Interactive Stamp Platform (WiSP). The partnership will allow brands to develop a variety of consumer applications for the platform, which is a skin-worn, ultra-thin, stretchable and disposable stamp.”
The WiSP platform pairs with a smartphone, tablet, or NFC reader, and becomes, rather appositely, quite flexible in the features it offers. MC10 says capabilities such as hotel room access, event registration, interactive experiences at amusement parks, sporting and music events are all potential use-cases. And then of course there is cashless payments.
Ben Schlatka, VP of Corporate Development and a Co-Founder of the company told PaymentEye that “has not been incorporated into a commercialized product yet. However, the WiSP platform is fully capable of enabling tokenized cashless payment through its NFC chip.”
He also went on to explain how it would work:
The user’s unique identifier would be stored on the NFC chip’s memory and be associated with their payment information in a secure cloud database. When the WiSP is scanned by an NFC reader, the payment system would charge the credit card associated with the unique identifier.
The patch has already been used by L’Oreal as a way of measuring levels of UV exposure. That’s actually where MC10 first worked with PCH.
“Based on the success of the initial collaboration, we thought a partnership working towards different use cases and applications could lead to great products delivering improved brand and customer engagement,” Ben said.
In terms of what drew MC10 to the payments market was what the company perceived to be the clunkiness of the current market.
Payments are at the core of commercial transactions, but have continued to be a clunky, time consuming interaction, even with the improved simplicity introduced by credit cards. Our thin, wearable platform offers a truly seamless and secure solution
PCH Founder and CEO Liam Casey said, “Our partnership with MC10 opens the door for other brands to develop consumer applications using this unique wearable platform. The stamp is highly customizable allowing brands to create personalized and engaging experiences that reinforce customer loyalty.”
“We are excited to partner with PCH to expand the reach of MC10’s body-worn electronics globally, within and beyond our core healthcare market. PCH’s experience working with leading consumer brands, and their ability to commercialize the technology, will accelerate development of new applications within a variety of industries for skin-worn wearables,” commented Scott Pomerantz, President and Chief Executive Officer of MC10.
This is patch is relatively similar to another ‘bio-wearable’ idea that made the rounds last year that was created by creative technology company, Chaotic Moon. Now part of the Accenture company, the company’s ‘Tech-Tat’ is still not an everyday product.
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