Intelligent Environments rolls out Pebble smartwatch banking app
A UK technology company has created a banking app that promises to help customers keep track of their finances at a glance, interfacing with the Pebble smartwatch which launched in January 2013.
Designed by crowd-funded start-up company Pebble Technology, the Pebble smartwatch focuses on apps designed for sports and fitness, music and games, and important notifications or reminders. But software firm Intelligent Environments says it is in discussion with several banks about its Interact Smartwatch App, which allows users to view their bank balance and keep track of their finances.
According to the developers, the Interact Smartwatch App was inspired by the UK’s first online bank service, Homelink, which launched in November 1983. Homelink was set up by the Bank of Scotland for customers of Nottingham Building Society, and basically allowed customers to view statements, bank transfers and bill payments online. On the Pebble smartwatch, users can do the same.
“Customers are increasingly curious about how wearable devices, such as smartwatches, can be used to manage everyday tasks such as banking,” said Clayton Locke, chief technology officer at Intelligent Environments. “This Interact smartwatch app brings consumers closer to their money, making it more convenient to keep track of finances. All it takes is a glance of the wrist to check your balance while out and about. The Interact smartwatch app marks our first step towards developing digital banking systems for other wearable technologies, such as Google Glass.”
Google Glass is basically a head-mounted display computer that gives the user information about whatever they are looking at, in a manner similar to that depicted in the 1991 film Terminator 2. Augmented reality technology is currently being explored by the likes of banking technology vendor Misys, whose Alex Bray wrote a book on the subject.
Elsewhere in Europe, related ‘Banking 3.0’ concepts such as gamification have gained ground in recent months. In November, Bulgaria’s DSK Bank launched a mobile savings application called DSK Gameo, which is designed to encourage customers to save by making banking more fun, while helping the bank better understand its user-base. Meanwhile in the US, mobile operators AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless have just launched their Isis mobile wallet across the country following 18 months of testing.