We’ve seen several tech-enabled rings in the last few years, from failed attempts at turning them into gesture motion controllers, to new ones that prevent a partner from streaming a new TV show episode without you. But now Visa is taking a stab at it by turning the ring into a contactless payments device. Just like you’d swipe your smartphone over a terminal to make a payment, Visa‘s ring puts your credit card directly on your finger.
The ring is very simple in design and made from ceramic, and the only real option is black or white for color. The loop is outfitted with NFC, so it works just like smartphones and other wearables outfitted with payments tech, and Visa says it contains a secure microchip that is tied to a wearer’s account.
It seems Visa is using this year’s Rio Olympics as a trial/promotion for the ring, however. Combined with Visa being the only payment card that will be accepted throughout the sporting event, the ring is only being given to 45 athletes that the company sponsors. The idea being that athletes are changing locations and changing uniforms, and don’t have time to keep track of a wallet or smartphone, let alone keep it on them at all times.
Unfortunately there’s word if Visa plans to make the ring available to the wider public after the Olympics. As contactless payment technology is being added to more and more wearables, it’s likely Visa will just make the feature available in other devices instead of producing a ring itself.