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Accessorize with London’s Fashionable New Oyster Card

Beautiful and functional, wearable transit cards will eliminate fumbling while boarding buses and metro. Photo via Yanko Design.

Knowing that your transit card is on your finger or around your wrist, you’ll never fumble to find your card again. Thanks to Benjamin Parton, who recently received a master’s degree in product design from the Royal College of Art, Oyster, London’s transit smartcard, is getting a complete redesign. Called Oi, the wearable transit card comes in the form of a ring or a “watchstrap widget” in order to improve functionality. The project is part of InnovationRCA, a program of the Royal College of Art that manages and commercializes intellectual property, and leads knowledge transfer programs, like helping students integrate business skills with creative practice.

According to Yanko Design, Oi uses the same radio-frequency coil infrastructure as the existing Oyster cards. The product can also be bent and twisted without damage to the internal components, and it is unaffected by interference from other radio frequency devices. We can only hope that it’s also waterproof.

The existing Oyster card is a plastic smartcard that commuters use on the bus, Tube, tram, Docklands Light Railway, London Overground and most National Rail services in London. According to Transport for London, the Oyster is the cheapest way to pay for single journeys and can store credit for multiple trips.

Currently, the patent for Oi is pending.

Stylish design to smart cards is a creative marketing approach to public transit. Photo via Yanko Design.

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  • Anonymous

    Hi Steven,

    It is a real product. It was designed by a master’s student who was studying product design in London. The patent for the product is still pending, and I guess it’s up to TfL whether or not they want to use it as part of their system. You don’t have to take apart your Oyster card. The ring or the watch gadget itself is the Oyster card. So, instead of touching the Oyster card on the yellow reader, you touch the ring or the watch gadget.

    Hope that clarifies it a bit,

  • I don’t understand if this is a real product or not. Will it be offered by Transport for London, or is it a kind of hacked device where one has to take apart their Oyster card and slip it inside the watchband?

  • Brilliant! This is a must for every public transit card. Not only will it alleviate paper waste, card theft/loss, and awkward pocket bulges, a transport ‘accessory’ can also make public transit trendy and more popular – no matter how old and grungy the transit system appears to be (e.g. NYC).