Sunday April 02, 2017

Seems Like a Bad Idea: VISA Sunglasses

Not too many places to keep your wallet at the beach. But in your sunglasses?

Not too many places to keep your wallet at the beach. But in your sunglasses? (linterdit/Flickr)

Listen 2:54

by Adam Killick

And now it's time for another edition of our occasional,  semi-regular, periodically occurring segment, "seems like a bad idea‚Ķ."

If there's one thing technology has done, it's that it has made life easier for us... at the beach.

I mean, where would we be without waterproof watches, waterproof SPF 50 sunscreen and quick-drying lycra or board shorts?

But apparently, despite all those massive leaps forward in shoreline success, one issue hasn't been resolved. How do you carry money when you're wearing your waterproof watch, waterproof SPF 50 and as little quick-drying lycra as modesty will allow?

Ironically, it's another, admittedly small, piece of technology that has made the situation much worse: the smartphone.

Because before we had smartphones we used to carry this thing called money, and, amazingly, it's been reasonably waterproof for centuries.

But now, for many millennially minded sunbathers, currency is cleverly concealed in apps like Apple Pay and Android Wallet.

And unlike money, sunscreen and watches, smartphones generally aren't waterproof. And most of us, even at the beach, would sooner see our swimsuits destroyed than our smartphones.

So what to do?

Fear not. Visa has come up with a new way to buy regrettable trinkets and pirated DVDs while you're soaking up the Cancun sun.

Contactless payment sunglasses. Yep.

In what looks like a pair of Ray-Ban knockoffs, Visa has rather obviously placed a payment chip on one of the arms. No pin required!

So, presumably, when you go to pay for a pina colada, you simply bend over, look like you're glaring into a payment terminal, and bing, it's covered.

Of course, everyone knows that beaches are famous for their safety when it comes to theft. And surely no thief would be interested in stealing a pair of sunglasses that feature a prominent Visa logo.

I mean, who would want a pair of sunglasses that also happen to be stuffed with virtual cash?

But really, I see only one problem with sunglasses that double as a contactless payment system:

How are you going to take that picture of your pina colada if you left your Snapchat spectacles back by your towel?