Earlier this week, Amazon unveiled Amazon One: new technology for its Amazon Go stores that lets shoppers pay for their groceries by scanning the palm of their hand. By analyzing the shape of your hand and the unique configuration of veins under your skin, Amazon says its technology can verify your identity the same way facial recognition does.
Although Amazon One will initially be used for payments only, it’s clear the tech giant has much bigger ambitions for this hardware. In the future, it says, Amazon One could not only be used for shopping but as a replacement for tickets at music and sporting events, and as an alternative to your office keycard, letting you scan in with a swipe of your hand. In other words, Amazon One isn’t a payment technology. It’s an identity technology, and one that could give Amazon more reach into your life than ever before.
Understandably, some experts are skeptical about Amazon’s claims of convenience, and worry about a company with a spotty track record on privacy becoming the controller of a new identity standard. Whether it’s Amazon’s use of biased facial recognition algorithms or its ambitions to grow a network of home surveillance cameras, this is an organization that has proved many times that individual privacy is not always its biggest concern. Is it a good idea if Amazon knows exactly who you are from the palm of your hand?
Let’s start by looking at the technology itself, which is blessedly straightforward. Palm scanning has been around for years, and although Amazon isn’t offering many details on its own implementation, it looks to be similar to examples of the tech we’ve seen before.
As the company explains on its FAQ page, the
Amazon is introducing new palm recognition technology in a pair of Seattle stores and sees broader uses in places like stadiums and offices
SEATTLE — Amazon has introduced new palm recognition technology in a pair of Seattle stores and sees a broader potential audience in stadiums, offices and other gated or secured locations.
“And it’s contactless, which we think customers will appreciate, especially in current times,” Kumar wrote in a blog post Tuesday.
Like the human fingerprint, every palm is unique. Unlike fingerprints, the palm is not used for broader identification purposes because more body specific information is needed. Any palm image proffered for use is never stored on the Amazon One device, the company said, for security reasons.
The data is encrypted in a secured sector of the cloud that was custom built by Amazon, and customers can also delete their Amazon One-related data permanently at any time.
The company expects to roll out Amazon One as an option in other Amazon stores in the coming months, which could mean Whole Foods Market grocery stores. But Amazon believes the technology is applicable in a myriad of secured locations.
“We believe Amazon One has broad applicability beyond our retail stores, so we also plan to offer the service to third parties like retailers, stadiums, and office buildings so that
- Amazon is trialing its new Amazon One palm-scanning payment tech at two of its Seattle convenience stores, it announced on Tuesday. This allows you to pay by waving your hand.
- The service connects your palm print to a credit card.
- You can even sign up with both hands, Amazon said, because “you never know which palm will be free when you need it.”
- Amazon is trialing the tech at two Amazon Go stores. It hopes to expand the tech to other stores, sports stadiums, and even offices.
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Amazon is letting customers pay with the palm of their hand at two of its Seattle convenience stores.
The e-commerce giant is trialling its new contactless Amazon One payment method, which connects your palm print to a credit card so that you can pay by waving your hand in front of a scanner, it announced Tuesday.
Your palm print also opens the electronic entry gates at the two Amazon Go stores, which usually require a code.
The tech would roll out to all 20-plus Go stores as the trial grows, Amazon told Recode. It was encouraging other retailers to sign up, it said.
Amazon One could also be used for people to identify themselves, Amazon said – such as when they enter offices and sports stadiums.
Customers can sign up by going to one of the two stores, entering their credit card details and mobile number into a device, and scanning their palm on a biometric reader. The process takes less than a minute, Amazon said, and customers can register both of their palms. The scan then connects to their Amazon One ID.
In 2019, Amazon patented tech that would identify
Amazon is getting into palm-reading — but it wants to sell you groceries rather than tell your fortune.
The e-commerce colossus unveiled a new gadget Tuesday that will let shoppers pay with the palms of their hands at its retail stores.
The so-called Amazon One device uses high-tech imaging and algorithms to create a “unique palm signature” based on the hand’s ridges, lines and other features. The system links that imprint to a credit card that the shopper inserts into the machine.
Amazon has installed the system at two of its Amazon Go stores in Seattle, where shoppers can scan their palms before entering instead of using a smartphone app. The company plans to expand the technology to more of its stores in the coming months and said it’s in “active discussions” with several potential outside customers.
“We believe Amazon One has broad applicability beyond our retail stores, so we also plan to offer the service to third parties like retailers, stadiums, and office buildings so that more people can benefit from this ease and convenience in more places,” Dilip Kumar, Amazon’s vice president of physical retail and technology, wrote in a blog post.
The gadget builds on the “Just Walk Out” technology that Amazon uses in its Go stores, which detects the items shoppers pick up and charges them once they leave without the need for a checkout line. Amazon is planning to expand the cashier-less technology to the Whole Foods grocery chain it owns, as The Post reported last month.
While using your hand as a credit card may sound a bit dystopian, Kumar contends that it’s more secure than other “biometric” identifiers because you can’t tell a person’s identity just by looking at their palm.
The palm images Amazon One uses are encrypted and stored in a
Amazon is putting contactless payments in the palm of your hand. No, seriously. Today, the company has revealed Amazon One, a service that uses your unique palm signature to authenticate purchases and let you into gated locations, such as offices, gyms and stadiums. For now, palm reading is restricted to two Amazon Go stores — the type that doesn’t require you to interact with a cashier or self-service checkout — in Seattle. You’ll need to ‘enroll’ on your first visit by inserting your credit card and following the scanner’s on-screen instructions. Once your card and palm have been paired, you’ll able to enter the Seattle stores simply by holding your hand above the device “for about a second or so,” according to a blog post.
For now, it feels like a pilot. Amazon has big plans for the technology, though. The company says it will “start” in select Amazon Go stores before expanding to “additional Amazon stores,” which could mean bookshops or Whole Foods Market locations, “in the coming months.” It will also offer the service to third-party retailers and other businesses that might find the technology beneficial. I know what you’re thinking: why palms? Well, Amazon believes that it offers more privacy than other biometric methods because you can’t figure out a person’s identity with a palm image alone.