EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3096 - June 27, 2013     4 of 5

PayPal Sees Ecommerce in Google Glasses

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It's no longer fantasy to imagine someone going on an online shopping spree using a mobile device. As the promise of mobile computing moves from hype to reality, the tech gurus have moved on and are now predicting the impact wearable computing devices will have in the coming years.

PayPal, which has dealt with online fraud from its beginnings, is among the companies thinking about the security problems such devices will pose for users and said it has patented technology to enable users to login safely to their accounts even for devices that require users to speak commands aloud.

Fitness bands like Fitbit Flex are already mainstream, and Google Glasses are getting a lot of attention since their debut, even though they're not quite yet ready for prime time.

Google Glasses requires users give commands through speech or through gestures, so how do you enter account passwords privately? PayPal is said it has figured out how users can safely log in to accounts when wearing digital glasses:

"We all know how to log in on a computer or a smart phone, and how to enter a PIN in an ATM. But, how do you log in on a device that has no keyboard, that does not have strong support for biometric authentication, and where you have to be concerned that every move you make is observed - and may be recorded - by somebody who wants to know your login?"

It answered the question with an example, and said that was only one of several "advanced authentication technologies" it is developing. The full post is available on the PayPal blog.

Former Wall Street analyst and current VC Mary Meeker talked about the impact wearable devices would have in her annual Internet Trends report last month. "While the past ten years have been about mobile computing and the ten years before that were about the PC, the next ten years will be about wearable computers with sensors," was how GigaOm summed up her prediction.

Imagine people shopping with their digital watches, eyeglasses or other wearable computing devices and "visiting" your online store. It appears PayPal wants to make sure it's ready to give those shoppers a way to checkout.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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