Though Google Glass doesn’t have a hard release date just yet, we do know that it will be available without an invite sometime in 2014. And it seems as though Google is making sure it’s armed with as many useful apps as possible for that launch as a new report suggests that the company is working on bringing its Wallet payment app to the device, allowing users to send money to each other with a simple voice command.
A post on TechCrunch from yesterday has the scoop, citing “a source close to the company” who says that Google’s efforts to create the Glass-optimized app revolve around using your voice to interact with your digital wallet. Saying “send money” will allow users to transfer money to other Google Wallet users, though chances are good that there will have to be a bit more to it than that. The post adds that Wallet for Glass is being tested internally right now but is expected to be made available to all Glass users soon.
From what we can tell in this post, though, this isn’t quite the “retail revolution” we’ve predicted—at least not yet. That’s because the app’s functionality seems to stop at other Wallet users, rather than allowing Glass-wearers to actually pay for goods and services at retail locations. For that, you might need to rely on an app like “Nod to Pay” from EAZE, and even then you’ll still need a bitcoin wallet. Meanwhile, other Glass apps like “Pay With Wallaby” help users choose the best payment method but still don’t allow for frictionless retail shopping.
What the creation of Wallet for Glass does signify, however, is a first step in the right direction. Over 300,000 locations accept payments through Google Wallet, but the adoption rate of the application among Google’s users is still relatively small compared with the total. But if Wallet is a standard part of Glass’s infrastructure, it’s entirely possible that the number of Wallet-users will increase once the device launches later this year—especially if it’s the most popular smart glasses game in town. Glass is certainly the most talked-about, so actual Glass-enabled payments may not be too far out of reach.