Amazon wants you to pay with your hand

On Tuesday, the company introduced Amazon One, which connects your palm print to a stored credit card so you can place your hand over a sensor to access and purchase items when you go out of the house. Amazon (AMZN) Go to the stores. (Visitors usually use a code on their smartphones to open electronic portals within these stores.)

Initially, the feature will be available at two Amazon Go stores in Seattle, and in the coming months the company plans to add it to more Amazon Go stores, located in Seattle, San Francisco, New York and Chicago. Amazon plans to bring it to other retailers – and possibly places like offices and stadiums – in the future.

Dilip Kumar, Amazon Vice President of Retail and Technology, told CNN Business that Amazon One had been in business for a long time before the pandemic spread. But the timing could be positive for Amazon: Customers may find contact-free entry and payment technology comfortable, and companies, which are increasingly looking to technological solutions to weather the pandemic, may also find it attractive.
However, the idea of ​​handing over vital data to one of the largest retailers in the US could also be surprising. Amazon has previously come under fire from privacy advocates interested in the facial recognition software. Amazon said in June that it would temporarily stop selling its Rekognition program to police. When it comes to Amazon One data, Kumar said the company does not store any information locally on in-store entry scanners. All palm images are encrypted and stored online by Amazon.

He said the company has intentionally chosen palmistry recognition over other biometrics because they can be matched very precisely, and the customer must make an intentional gesture to use it.

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“I encourage people to give it a try, see how they like the experience, and then move on from there,” Kumar said.

Amazon One – not to be confused with the company’s first aircraft, also called Amazon One – is the latest offering in a decades-long effort to make shopping faster and more convenient. Her arrival was expected.

Before trying it, users must insert a credit card into the Amazon One device and place the palm on top of it so that it can be scanned. In an effort to make the system as accurate as possible, Kumar said, the camera takes multiple photos of the fine lines and edges of the palm, and captures some details under the skin, such as veins, that aren’t seen in typical photos.

After registration, the user holds their palm over the Amazon One scanner to enter the store. After that, anything they take will be automatically deducted from the credit card connected to their palm. Kumar said that users should be able to use the same palm to enter and shop multiple stores. Initially, users will be able to link one credit card to either or both of Nakheel; Ultimately, Kumar said, there might be an option to allocate one credit card per palm.

Amazon One is currently available at two Amazon Go stores in Seattle, on 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street, and in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Amazon has yet to say when it will be available at other retailers, nor how much it will cost other companies to use the technology.

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