Imagine walking into a store and instead of pulling out your wallet or credit card, you use your palm to pay for items. Maybe you’re headed to the stadium to watch your favorite but realize you left your tickets at home and you’re unable to pull them up on your phone. Or, you left your work ID badge at home.
You should, however, have your palm.
That’s what Amazon envisions for the future of its Amazon One palm recognition system, a new biometric that allows consumers to user their palm for everyday activities like paying for goods, presenting a loyalty card or entering a location.
Rather than placing your palm on a surface, you simply hover it over the device. Amazon said it chose palm recognition because it’s more private than other biometric alternatives because you generally can’t identify a person by their palm.
The system is already in use at two Amazon Go stores, but the company in a blog post last week said it plans to expand the use of the technology.
We’ll start in select Amazon Go stores, where Amazon One will be added to the store’s entry gate as a convenient choice for customers to use to enter the store to shop. 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. 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.
Amazon is planning to make the technology available to third parties and is in “active discussions” with several potential customers, but offered no further information.
Biometrics like retinal scanners, factional recognition and fingerprint readers for access control are on the rise, especially in sensitive markets like national security and defense. These systems — once prohibitively complicated and expensive — are now easier to use and affordable for many organizations.