As retailers around the world seek ways to make it easier for consumers to shop seamlessly without touching anything, one company in Japan is betting its technology can rule them all: a smart ring that can act as a wallet and a key.
MTG Co., a Japanese health and beauty company, has started selling the “Evering,” which it envisions as a one-stop digital wallet. The chip-embedded ring, made out of zirconia, the synthetic crystal that’s sometimes used in place of diamonds in jewelry, lets people lock their door as they step out for a run as well as pay for drinks in stores.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made touchless payments a much more popular method of purchasing. Amazon.com Inc. is pushing into cashier-less stores and deploying technology that lets consumers enter shops and pay using palm scans. In Japan, Signpost Corp. has deployed stores that don’t have any clerks or registers in a kiosk on the platforms of a train stations. In China, technology that employs facial recognition software is already being used for payments.
“We want to make a world in which people can live with a ring,” Yoshihito Ohta, MTG’s chairman, said in an interview.
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