The watches will come in green, blue, and orange colors and feature little soccer balls on their face--a face that features hands, I might point out, not a digital display. I can't think of any better way to celebrate the world's most popular sport than by letting its fans more easily spend their hard-earned money.
The Chinatrust 2006 FIFA World Cup MasterCard PayPass watches will allow consumers to shop at more than 400 merchant outlets in Taiwan, including Wellcome Supermarket and IS Coffee outlets, as well as about 30,000 merchant locations around the world.
One security aspect that the whole PayPass technology hasn't addressed is, what happens when someone steals your watch and starts buying all his or her friends' half-time refreshments on your tab? If you spend less than $25 at a time, you don't have to sign for the purchase or show ID. Shouldn't there be some way to protect the watch's owner against that? I guess the same is true if you lose your cell phone--people can eat through your minutes until you call your provider and cancel your account--but that doesn't mean this lack of security is acceptable. Even if MasterCard promises to wave any charges in dispute, this could become an expensive proposition that customers ultimately wind up paying for in one way or another.
Until they come up with a solution to this security oversight, and because I don't live in Taiwan, I think I'll pass on this latest piece of futuristic jewelry and stick with my aliens-versus-us video game watch.