NFC watch strap - embedding NFC chip into dumb watch wrist strap

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Has anyone tried to embed an NFC chip like MiFare DESFire or even simple NFC tag into a dumb watch strap?

Then you could potentially unlock office doors with your dumb watch - should be a bit easier / faster compared to pulling out your thick wallet with Access Cards in it, and it could have potentially some other applications too.

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Note: both of these products are currently in prototype stage

1. NFCSTRAP.com - make any watch a SMART watch

NFC watch strap

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NFC Strap does not need a battery. It has NFC chip inside which potentially allows you to:

  • unlock office doors with your watch
  • unlock your Android phone with your watch
  • login into Windows PC and Mac with your watch
  • design multi-factor corporate security where NFC chip is one of the authentication factors

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2. Pebble NFC Strap

New Pebble watch allows 3-rd parties to design so called Smart Straps. For example, Xadow modules offer features such as NFC, GPS and heart-rate monitoring, so you could choose exactly what smart features you want on your watch straps. Xadow modules for Pebble are supposed to enter production later this year.

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Pebble Shows First Smartstraps for Its Watches wonderful

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Shortly after revealing its color-display Pebble Time smartwatch, Pebble also unveiled smartstraps -- a new platform that will allow developers to add high-tech features to standard watch straps. We're now seeing the potential of this new platform, as the company has highlighted two new smartstrap concepts that could make your Pebble's strap as useful as its interactive display.

One new Pebble smartstrap concept comes by way of Seeed Studio, which will bring its modular Xadow straps to the Pebble family. Xadow modules offer features such as NFC, GPS and heart-rate monitoring, giving you the tools to pick and choose exactly which smart features you want on your watch straps. Xadow modules for Pebble are set to enter production later this year.

MORE: Best Smartwatches on the Market

Pebble also showcased the Spark Electron prototype, which has the potential to connect your Pebble to a cellular network without a smartphone. The Electron strap would pack its own SIM card that offers up to 3G speeds, and aims to offer data plans at a low price. A developer version of Electron is available now on Kickstarter, and the tech is intended to launch by fall 2015. enter image description here

While Xadow for Pebble and Spark Electron are only concepts at this point, they're both strong examples of how third-party smartstraps could help Pebble stand out amongst more premium competitors such as the LG Watch Urbane and upcoming Apple Watch. Smartstraps will complement the upcoming Pebble Time and Time Steel, which pack a revamped interface, a built-in microphone and are the first Pebble watches to feature color e-paper displays.

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New Pebble smart watch enter image description here

I have only had my pebble for a week now but already have ideas about what I want from a new model!

It is clear that the two main attractions for a smart watch are notifications, including :

1-ability to make a limited response to them 2-fitness tracking

These are the two key areas that will attract the masses to a smart watch. The third is style or as a fashion accessory, which is why Apple will sell loads! However price and battery life are also key issues and so players like Pebble have a chance for a good slice of the market.

What is currently missing is proper fitness tracking and integration with the two main platforms of Android Wear (Google Fit etc.) and Apple HealthKit. Also some additional sensing would be a good idea to allow better fitness tracking such as altimeter for detecting climbing stairs, body temperature sensors and heart rate monitor (such as those found in the Basis Peak).

To some extent, once Basis manages to get notifications on their Peak, they have an almost ideal product! They are only missing the customisation options for watch faces and the ability to load other Apps, however many purchasers would not miss those features if the basic functions work well.

It is vital to get the fitness and sleep tracking data off the phone and into an App that can provide long term records and advice on the data gathered. This should be a big push by Pebbel to get this on their current products somehow and ensure it is at the top of the list for any future products.

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