Schalke unveil new smart jersey that lets fans pay from the shirt

That half-time currywurst will never be the same
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German football club Schalke have unveiled a jersey with an embedded payment chip, becoming the first club to embrace smart clothing.

The new shirt, which will be worn by fans from next season, is part of the club's new sponsorship agreement with online supermarket AllyouneedFresh, with the chip allowing supporters to pay for items within the stadium and receive discounts for doing so.

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If you're looking to get some food or drink in at half-time, for example, the shirt is able to make this journey a potentially less painful process. We don't know exactly where the chip will be yet though, if it's under that logo on short sleeves, things could get awkward.

However, in case you're wondering, the players won't be wearing jerseys with an integrated chip. In the words of Schalke's communications head Anja Kleine-Wilde, this is because "they rarely go to kiosks at halftime to quickly get a curry-sausage or a beer."

Of course, kit manufacturers, clubs and sponsors claiming to provide smart features isn't exactly anything new - so-called smarter fabrics are rolled out every season promising to make the kit lighter or more distinguishable to players on the pitch.

And while this certainly sits more on the side of a genuine tech innovation, rather than a rehashed sweat-wicking fabric, it's fair to question just how practical it is. After all, this move would appear to be more about creating a fun selling point than appeasing fans who are crying out for the feature.

Still, it shows off an area within smart clothing that's on the rise. Samsung has already released an NFC suit in its home of Korea, while it's likely Google's Project Jacquard platform will explore easier payments down the line.

For fans at Schalke's Veltins-Arena, though, the future is almost here.

Schalke unveil new smart jersey that lets fans pay from the shirt

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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