Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Pebble Pay - Passive, waterproof, NFC banking.

Several years ago my bank started rolling out a NFC payment system, which included a great phone app for Android phones. If you had an iPhone however, you were out of luck as they didn't carry the requisite hardware at the time.

So the bank released these two dollar, tokenised NFC "Pay tags" to stick to the back of the phone. I had a compatible android device, but these tags were just the best thing ever. I immediately put one on my watch!

Paying with a passive tag on my watch was unbelievably convenient. There was no fumbling for my phone or wallet, i could pay with both hands holding ice-cream (that's how i usually do my shopping). And it was incredibly hard to steal, it didn't carry actual card data, and it was entirely waterproof!

I used to walk straight out of the surf wearing that watch, and straight into a cold beer. No "hiding the wallet in the towel" dance with danger, no hiking back to the car to retrieve money. It just worked.

When i received my Pebble Time, the token migrated to that. Despite Apple Pay being a year away from deployment in Australia, people were confusing the white Time for an Apple Watch constantly.

To make things more streamlined, and to get the token to fit within the narrower strap of the Time Round, i decided to de-bulk it by stripping the electronics out. A few hours in acetone did the trick.

I then rearranged the antennae a little, before sealing everything inside a business card lamination pouch to re-waterproof it. With the pouch trimmed down, it's now significantly smaller, more flexible, and comfortably fits within the leather layers of my PTS and PTR straps.


Like this? See more of my Pebble mods!

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