Amazon One Lets You Pay With The Palm of Your Hand

Palms are the new fingerprints.
Amazon One Lets You Pay With The Palm of Your Hand
Image credit: via PC Mag

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This story originally appeared on PC Mag

Give Amazon a hand (literally) for its latest innovation: The company's new Amazon One palm recognition technology lets folks checkout in stores, wrack up loyalty points, enter venues, and badge into work with no added accessories. Rolling out first to select Amazon Go stores in Seattle, the "highly secure" platform uses algorithms and hardware to create each users' unique palm signature.

"In most retail environments, Amazon One could become an alternate payment or loyalty card option with a device at the checkout counter next to a traditional point-of-sale system," Dilip Kumar, VP of Amazon physical retail, wrote in a blog announcement. "Or, for entering a location like a stadium or badging into work, Amazon One could be part of an existing entry point to make accessing the location quicker and easier."

To sign up, just insert your credit card, hover your hand over the device, then follow the prompts to link that card with your biometric stamp (with the option to enroll one palm or both). Registered users simply hold their unclenched hand above an Amazon One machine for a second, and go about their day.

In a world of mobile wallets, fingerprint readers, and face scanners, why did Amazon choose palm recognition? "For a few important reasons," according to Kumar, who highlighted perks like privacy and security—"because you can't determine a person's identity by looking at an image of their palm."

"And it's contactless, which we think customers will appreciate, especially in current times," he continued. "Ultimately, using a palm as a biometric identifier puts customers in control of when and where they use the service." 

Anyone with a cell phone number and credit card can sign up; you don't need an Amazon account, though subscribers can log into the website to manage information and see usage history. Images are never stored on the individual Amazon One devices; instead, data is encrypted and sent to a "highly secure" area in the cloud.

Seattleites can test the new tech at the original Amazon Go store on 7th Ave., or the South Lake Union location at 300 Boren Ave. North. "We're excited to see Amazon One in more retail environments and are in active discussions with several potential customers," the blog said. "But beyond that, we'll have to ask you to stay tuned."

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