Amazon’s retail development team has unveiled a new biometric device that will allow shoppers to pay in Amazon Go stores using the palm of their hand. The company introduced the contactless Amazon One, a scanner to which the user first binds a payment card and then attaches the device to the palm of the hand to associate the “palm signature” with the payment mechanism. The user can then pay by holding their palm over the Amazon One device for a second.
By “signature of the palm” engineers mean its individual features – lines, curves on the arms, and patterns of veins. First, the new technology will be introduced to Amazon stores in Seattle, then to other stores. The company is looking for potential customers who might be interested in the technology.
Amazon also notes that the images are encrypted and sent to a secure area in the cloud where signatures are generated from customers’ palms. There are no specific details about this process yet. The history of the use of Amazon’s biometric products is controversial – for example, the company sold biometric facial recognition services to law enforcement agencies in the United States. Its facial recognition technology is also the subject of a data privacy lawsuit – their technology is actively used by the US police.
Amazon One uses equipment to scan images with computer vision algorithms. Customers don’t need an Amazon account, a phone number and bank card are enough. Users will be able to delete biometric data from the company’s database if they no longer want to use the service.