Putting IC chips into things to turn them into electronic wallets is officially the latest Japanese gadget trend.

Casio gets in on the act with a watch it has developed with card company JCB that can be swiped over a reader to pay for purchases, or get through security gates in office buildings. It uses the Sony FeliCa chip, which is fast becoming the de facto standard and will start appearing in Japanese cellphones very soon.

Casio is very big on the fact that you now don’t have to root around in your bag for a credit card or cellphone in order to pay for things or get in and out of the office. We’re happier with the latter idea, if only because the standard IC-chip company ID cards are apt to snap in half if you look at them crosseyed; on the other hand, being able to pay for stuff with something that doesn’t even look like a credit card sounds like a recipe for disaster, unless they have the hands swing to one minute to midnight when you’re about to hit your credit limit. Also, it’s worth pointing out that the kidz of Japan don’t seem too bothered about watches these days; we recall a survey not so long ago in which the most popular watch brand among teens was “NTT DoCoMo”.

More here.