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Circuit Breaker

Visa's new contactless payment card is a pair of sunglasses

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Visa unveils prototype of contactless payment sunglasses from the Everywhere Lounge on March 13, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Rick Kern/WME IMG/Getty Images for VISA)
Getty Images for VISA

Visa announced today that it will be starting a new pilot program of contactless payment-enabled sunglasses. The glasses, pictured above, appear to be a regular pair of shades — with the addition of a small contactless card that allows the sunglasses to work as a contactless payment method.

The pilot program will take place at the World Surf League’s 2017 Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast competition, which Visa is now also sponsoring. And while the entire idea of payment-enabled sunglasses only kind of makes sense (enjoy the much higher stakes in the event that you lose them), I guess a surfing competition is one of those times when you’d be on a beach and not carrying a wallet, but would want to buy something. It’s actually a similar idea to the Microsoft Band 2, which included the ability to buy Starbucks drinks directly through the wearable device when you were out on a run.

You have to take the sunglasses off to actually use them as a payment, although I’m sure that a general release of these will undoubtably result in someone ramming their head into a vending machine to try and pay for a soda. At this point we know very little about the actual sunglasses, including cost, availability, or whether or not this will eventually reach non-surfing customers.

But, yeah. Sunglasses that can buy stuff now exist. Your move, Snapchat.

Correction: The Visa sunglasses will serve as a preloaded contactless payment card, not a credit card, as this article originally claimed.