Apple demonstrates smartwatch keys and payments

Apple Watch as a contactless room key
OPENING DOORS: Apple Watch acts as a room key, giving access with a wave of the wrist

How Apple Watch owners will be able to use their device to make payments, unlock hotel rooms and the garage doors at their home has been demonstrated by Kevin Lynch, Apple’s VP of Technology, at the company’s Spring Forward launch event.

“If you go to lunch and want to pick up dinner on the way home, you might go to Whole Foods,” he explained. “You can use Apple Watch to actually pay for things while you’re checking out. I’ve got my credit cards right inside my watch. To bring one up, all I have to do is double tap the side button and it brings up my credit card and then I just put my watch near the merchant’s terminal and I’ve paid, that’s it, I’m done. It’s super simple to pay with Apple Watch.”

Lynch then showed attendees how Apple Pay works at a store, using a handheld merchant terminal. “It’s a lot of fun to use and you don’t have to bring the watch face and touch the merchant terminal; as soon as you get to it, you’ll hear the audible noise that you hear and you also have feedback on your wrist so you know the transaction was done. It’s super easy to do.

“Now when I arrive at my hotel room, I also get a notification when I get near hotels like SPG’s W Hotel,” he added, showing attendees his reservation information for the New York hotel on his Apple Watch. “You can see it’s got all the information I need to check-in, my confirmation number, my room number. You can see these are really rich notifications; they have images, they have great typography and rich layout and it not only looks great and reflects the brand and the company, but it also makes it easier for you to understand very quickly and you can act on these.

“In this case I can use this to unlock my door right from the notification from my watch. So I press ‘unlock your door’, I can bypass the front desk entirely, go to my room and then my watch is my room key. I just wave it in front of the door and I go into my room.”

“Now when I’m travelling, I might receive some messages as well,” Lynch continued. “Here’s one from Maddie saying that she’s forgotten her key and can’t get into the house. Now, I can actually take care of this from my watch so I’m going to reply and say it’s going to be OK. I’ll use dictation to do that. I can send that back to Maddie. Now I can send that as an audio of my voice actually, or I can send it back as the text; I’ll send the text. So that’s gone off to Maddie now and now I can actually control the garage door remotely with my watch.

“I’ve got this great app from and my garage door is hooked up there, you can see I’ve got my information about my house, the locks are locked, the garage door is closed right now. But if I’d like to change this, I can just tap on the garage area here — and I have a camera as well, pointing at the garage door — and I’m seeing a live feed of the garage door right here right now. There’s an ‘open’ button, so let’s open the door for Maddie. So, open the door. It’s going to send the command to my garage door and it should open… there it goes.”

Apple Watch can do NFC payments with Apple Pay
PAY WAVE: Bring the Apple Watch up to a contactless POS terminal to pay for your shopping

Apple Watch does not include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor but it does include both NFC and a biosensor that is used to prove that an authorized card or key holder is physically present when a transaction is made, the company revealed at the initial unveiling of the device in September 2014.

To make a payment, the company added, “just double-click the button below the Digital Crown and hold the face of your Apple Watch near the contactless reader. A gentle pulse and beep confirm that your payment information was sent.”

The Apple watch can be seen at Apple Stores in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK and the US from 10 April, and the device will go on general sale from 24 April. Three models will be available in various colours and finishes from US$349, with gold alloy versions “starting at $10,000.”

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