Everyone’s looking for the next big thing in new technology at SXSW2017 in Austin, Texas this week, and I’ve seen some pretty fascinating things:
Like IBM Watson’s new tech to hack the perfect home-brew (I’ll drink to that). Or the Levi+Google smart jean jacket with a touchscreen sleeve that lets you answer the phone, listen to your music, or get directions on the go, all without touching your smartphone. (Think early days of the smart watch, only it’s a jacket, and it will be available to buy for $350 this fall.) And today Visa unveiled these concept pay-by-shades “smart sunglasses.”

The credit card company showcased the sunglasses prototype with payment capabilities at SXSW, at the same time surfers tried them at the Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro surf competitions in Gold Coast, Australia.

They look just like normal shades, but have a tiny chip embedded on its side. The idea is, you stroll into a store, scoop up your Kombucha and kale chips, and pay with a tap of your sunglasses at the checkout counter. Of course, the store has to have a Visa near field communication (NFC) enabled terminal.

“It ties back to our tagline of everywhere you want to be,” Chris Curtin, chief brand and innovation marketing officer at Visa, said in a press release. “Our view is to take form factors that you don’t expect to be payment-enabled, like sunglasses or maybe like a ring and expose to the market that maybe it can be.”

NFC already lets you pay with a variety of smartwatches, fitness bands, and of course, your smartphone. So it’s not too far off to think it will roll out across all kinds of stuff people normally wear. But but c’mon, sunglasses that double as debit card?

I can’t even count high enough to tell you how many pairs of sunglasses I’ve lost or broken over the course of my lifetime. Can you imagine having your bank account tied to them? Good grief. Not to mention the fact that I already think anyone wearing sunglasses on their face inside (versus on their head tucked into a pocket) either is (a) famous (b) pretending to be famous (c) has a legit eye issue (d) trying to hide the fact they’re stoned.

Visa is currently testing the concept to see if there is a demand in the general public. The company is also investigating whether banks or brands would consider sponsoring the product.

My take? Expect this kind of “convenience” embedded in a lot more stuff you normally wear in the future. Maybe even directly into your skin. Yeah, that’s not creepy at all. (?!)