How Your Shoes Could Be the Next E-Pay System

A shopper checks shoes at a store in Tokyo’s Ameyoko shopping district.

Wearable technology from IBM and Visa could allow you to make on-the-go payments and purchases with your shoes.

The companies announced yesterday a mobile payment technology known as Watson Internet of Things (IoT) that will allow users to make purchases through a wide range of devices and items including cars, watches, appliances, and yes — even shoes.

It’s more practical than it sounds. In one example provided by IBM, a runner could receive a digital alert at the ideal time to replace their worn out sneakers. The notification would also recommend a new model, complete with pricing and preferred retailer information.

“The IoT is not only driving a more connected world, it’s changing the way we live, shop and pay, by moving data and the point-of-sale to wherever the consumer wants it to,” said Jim McCarthy, Visa executive vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships.

“IoT is literally changing the world around us, whether it’s allowing businesses to achieve unimaginable levels of efficiency or enabling a washing machine to ensure we never run out of detergent,” said Harriet Green, IBM Watson IoT general manager. “This combination of IBM’s industry leading IoT technologies with Visa payment services, signifies the next defining moment in commerce by allowing payments on any connected object, with new levels of simplicity and convenience for everyone.”

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