Samsung's next smartwatch will have NFC for Samsung Pay

According to sources, Samsung's next smartwatch, which may debut in September, will be equipped with an NFC chip. But it won't be for easy pairing with other NFC-bearing devices, at least not just for that. Instead, the NFC will be employed for making mobile payments through Samsung's yet to be launched Samsung Pay. This would put that still to be seen smartwatch closer and, once again, at odds with Apple and its Apple Watch, which uses the very same technology also for making mobile payments via Apple Pay.

In the context of Samsung Pay, this might hardly be surprsing. While Samsung Pay does support both NFC-based and regular Mag Stripe technologies, thanks to Samsung's acquisition of LoopPay, your smartwatch is hardly an ideal source of magnetic waves. So NFC it is. This, however, would add Samsung's next smart timepiece in an elite group of smartwatches that have that same feature, which, so far, only includes the Apple Watch, the LG Watch Urbane LTE, and the Sony SmartWatch 3. Well, there's also this Bulgari smartwatch, but it's totally in a league of its own.

That very short roster hints at something. Almost all of them, except for the SmartWatch 3, do not run Android Wear. And even Sony's smartwatch uses its custom API for it. Samsung will most likely use Tizen again for one good reason. The Android Wear platform seems to lack support for this particular wireless technology. In fact, in the beginning, only Bluetooth was really supported, since it is the most basic requirement for any smart wearable. Support for Wi-Fi was added only recently. Considering Google's unveiling of Android Pay, it might just be a matter of time before the platform adds it and smartwatch makers adopt it.

The NFC chip will hardly be the most exciting part of Samsung's next Gear wearable. Most interesting perhaps is the rotating dial that will surround and control the round-faced smartwatch. As an interaction method, it is quite novel for smartwatches and might prove to be more usable than the Apple Watch's crown.

As for Samsung Pay itself, the manufacturer has more or less officially announced its delay to September. At first, it seemed it was to time the launch with the unveiling of the Galaxy Note 5. But with this new tip, it might also coincide with the announcement of the next Samsung Gear.

SOURCE: Reuters