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Nod Your Head, Pay in Bitcoin with EAZE

Op-ed - Nod Your Head

Another brand new product hot off the shelf works with Google Glass and allows consumers to pay with Bitcoin by simply nodding twice. This technology is called EAZE, and is supported by software that matches the name. Paying with Bitcoin just got easier.

Imagine sitting in your favorite restaurant and instead of being presented with a check, you are presented with a QR-Code to complete your transaction, without interrupting your conversation. Simply say “make a payment” and EAZE recognizes the command, scans the code via Google Glass and pays directly from your Bitcoin wallet. EAZE combines the simplicity of mobile payments with futuristic technology, and provides a streamlined approach to completing Bitcoin transactions at the point-of-sale.

Although many have yet to get their hands on Google Glass; the price point alone makes some of the most technologically inclined run for the hills. However, when paired with EAZE, Google Glass users are given yet another reason to don this wearable technology. Initially launched at the “Wearable Wednesday” event in Barcelona, EAZE answers the question “what if you could nod to pay for anything?”

In a recent press release the company explained, “the service demonstrates how frictionless payments work when the right technologies are combined.”

How EAZE Works

EAZE combines Bitcoin and Google Glass with a Bitcoin enabled wallet stored directly on the device. A user simply states, “OK Glass, make a payment” and Google Glass scans the QR code of any Bitcoin enabled Point Of Sales (POS) application. The transaction details appear on the display of the wearable tech and the user completes the transaction by nodding twice to confirm the payment.

For merchants, EAZE provides a POS application for accepting Bitcoin payments. The application follows the same philosophy of frictionless payments. To receive payments with EAZE, the merchant downloads the mobile application (available for iOS and Android) and adds a logo. An account is created automatically and the merchant is ready to accept Bitcoin in minutes.

The combination of these services when paired with the Bitcoin protocol will allow for greater interactivity between the merchant and consumer. In fact, after a payment is successful, the user can decide to “follow” the merchant. EAZE enhances the relationship between businesses and consumers, and very well may forge the path for future frictionless payment platforms. However, much like any new Bitcoin payment method there is always a question of payment security. What makes EAZE secure?

Security and Usability

Due to the nature of frictionless payments, there must be a way to keep funds secure that is integrated into the software. Much like many other Bitcoin storage methods, all Bitcoin deposited in the EAZE wallet are stored in a deterministic wallet that is unlocked locally with a passphrase. According to EAZE, “the wallet exists only in the memory of the user’s Glass, so the funds are never accessible via the server.” This technique gives the user full control and possession of their digital currency.

In addition to wallet security, “Nod to Pay” spending limits can also be set, similar to daily transaction limits set by banks or any normal wallet holding offline cash. Any amount that exceeds the “Nod to Pay” limit requires additional security, in the form of a PIN code, to confirm the payment.

A Frictionless Future?

Five years ago, contact free payments were just being introduced, with many using technologies integrated into credit or debit cards and other digital payment platforms. Bitcoin and other digital currencies, however, changed the way we think about making payments both online and in-person.

“Payments in the future are a combination of software, wearables and gestures. Technology now enables us to create completely new ways to pay. We no longer need debit or credit cards to authenticate. Instead, wearables like bracelets, rings and Google Glass can identify us. Authorizing a payment can also be done with simple gestures,” EAZE co-founder Raimo van der Klein stated.

EAZE can open the door for many other frictionless payment systems, by pairing wearable technology with mobile payments. For Bitcoin, transactions via wearable-tech like Google Glass enable businesses to complete transactions with ease. I believe we have only seen the beginning, with companies like EAZE, Nymi and many other companies working to provide consumers with additional ways to make secure payments with Bitcoin.

Will 2014 be the year of frictionless payments?