Visa sunglasses prototype uses NFC for mobile payments

There's no doubt payment at the register is changing, but how ordinary payments will look in the future is still anyone's guess. Smartphones are currently the most popular method for making mobile payments, but smartwatches and wristbands can also be used. Visa previously showed off an NFC-based payment ring at the Olympics last year, and now it is back with another product, this one in the form of sunglasses.

Visa unveiled the sunglasses prototype recently at South by Southwest, showing off a potential form factor that could one day be a common way to pay for items. If you were to pass someone wearing these glasses, it is doubtful you'd notice anything off about them (the glasses, not the person). The prototype is equipped with the tech necessary to pay at the terminal, however.

Someone using the glasses could merely take them off, tap them on Visa's NFC-enabled payment terminal, and then put them back on — no phone, no cards, and no watches necessary. It is all very casual, very quick, and highlights the way payments may be made in the coming months and years.

It doesn't seem Visa has any immediate plans to launch these sunglasses for the public to buy and use, instead showcasing the possibilities while also putting out feelers to see whether there is substantial enough interest in this particular wearable. If there is, we'll perhaps see ordinary prescription glasses frames commonly equipped with this technology as a standard feature.