RedBottle Plans Bitcoin Acceptance for Google Glass

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GlassPay, a new Google Glass app from RedBottle Design LLC, allows consumers to make purchases with bitcoins, a prominent digital currency.

Google Glass, a wearable computer Google is testing with software developers and early adopters, has a built-in camera that allows users to take pictures and scan bar codes. The GlassPay app enables shoppers to scan product bar codes to pick out items to purchase in stores that accept bitcoin payments. Users would not have to wait in line at a cashier to pay.

"With GlassPay, we're taking one of the most basic cultural experiences, the act of purchasing items, and bringing it into the future," says Guy Paddock, CEO of RedBottle Design, in an Oct. 16 press release. "Bitcoins are gaining significant acceptance in the worldwide marketplace, and we know that face-to-face, app-based shopping and purchasing is in the next wave. We're ready for it."

RedBottle expects to launch GlassPay in the second quarter of 2014 for Google Glass and other devices that run Google's Android operating system. Merchants can also involve the app in interactive displays that engage customers while they’re shopping. The app will also allow merchants to record what customers view and buy, creating a big data set to help merchants sell more effectively.

Other emerging payments companies are testing applications of Google Glass for mobile payments. SCVNGR, which makes the LevelUp mobile payment and loyalty app, has tested a process that lets cashiers use Google Glass to scan the QR codes generated by the LevelUp mobile wallet. ZooZ and shopkick are also evaluating the opportunities that Google Glass could provide. And MasterCard is actively building payments capabilities for the wearable computing device.

Although Bitcoin faces headwinds from U.S. regulators, digital-currency companies are attracting investment and startups continue to create new products, such as the so-called Bitcoin ATMs, to make the currency available to mainstream consumers.

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