September 6, 2014
Meet The iWave Payment Gesture
Apple has invented dozens of gestures, most recently the gestures we all use on our iOS devices. Apple has been very successful in choosing to edit gestures to the most natural and basic elements. Over the years Apple applied for and were granted a number of patents related to these gestures.
As the iWallet takes shape, we will see what is sure to be a new gesture that will be used to pay for a transaction. This element will be just a small part of the entire process that will include a very unique vibration along with a well conceived sound on the iWallet equipped iOS device. In final embodiments the merchant’s NFC customer facing payment card terminal will offer some reenforcing optical and sound feedback notices. The effect will be dramatic and theatric and in some ways exclusive and entertaining.
It is very clear that the Apple payments system is centered around the iWatch and the iPhone and perhaps other surprising iOS devices. Thus the iWave gesture will be useable in all of these embodiments.
iWave Tested In Plain Sight
I have witnessed Apple employees secretly testing a hidden iOS device at NFC enabled payment card terminals for quite some time. They were velcroed to the arm and hidden under the sleeve. They would hold a payment card that I am certain has no NFC chip in the same hand as they waved. It was very interesting how they waved. It was interesting to note the feedback they experienced through vibration. It was also clear that the employee at the register had no idea what was going on.
There Is A Patent For That
On July 22nd, 2014, Apple was awarded patent number 8,787,006, Wrist-worn electronic device and methods therefor. This patent was filed on July 20th, 2011 and arrived just in time for the iWatch and iWallet. I am rather surprised that this granted patent did not make front page tech industry news.
Another aspect of embodiment of the invention pertains to use of gestures with one's arm or wrist to provide a user input to an electronic wristband. For example, once a notification request is received at an electronic wristband, the electronic wristband can notify its user. The electronic wristband can also seek a response to the notification. In one embodiment, the electronic wristband can monitor one or more sensors to detect a user gesture with the user's arm or wrist. For example, the sensors can include an accelerometer and/or gyroscope. Typically, the sensors are digital sensors. The gesture can correspond to specific movements of a user's wrist or arm can vary with implementation. For example, the gesture might be a horizontal movement for one user input option (e.g., decline incoming call), and might be a vertical movement for another user input option (e.g., accept incoming call). For example, the gesture might be a single shake (or bounce, tap, etc.) of the user's wrist for one user input option (e.g., accept incoming call), and might be a pair of shakes (or bounces, taps, etc.) for another user input option (e.g., decline incoming call).
I suspect we will see more iWave payment gesture patents announced soon to completely lock down the customer experience and the merchant experience. Patent number 8,787,006 is just a sliver of what will come.
Apple Payments Magic
Apple’s iWave payment gesture, I think, will become as exclusive to the new iOS devices as the Apple white headphones were to the iPod and later the iPhone 1. This will stand out as a clear sign that you are a new Apple iWallet user. There will of course be a prestige and status element attached to this all, and that is no accident. We will see this interesting and dramatic way to pay become almost iconic over the next few months.