Amazon wants to read your palm. This is the premise behind the company’s latest high-tech payment system called “Amazon one. “
It is currently available in over sixty locations across the United States, including Amazon Go stores, Amazon Fresh grocery stores, Whole Foods, and physical Amazon bookstores.
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It is also installed as an entrance option to the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado.
Recently, Amazon invited me to their Century City bookstore to find out how the technology works.
To use Amazon One, there is an initial setup process, but it only takes a minute. You start by putting a card in the reader that is already linked to your Amazon account. A credit or debit card that you’ve used to make purchases on Amazon.
Then you run your palm over the reader. It takes a scan from one palm and then the other. There is a nifty little animation on the screen to let you know how high to place your hand and where.
Finally, you confirm your Amazon account on a computer screen and your card is now tied to your palm.
To test it out, I found a few things I had my eye on in the Amazon store, including a pack of four smart plugs (great for automating Christmas lights!), A book for my kid, and music videos. of chips.
The cashier rang my things and all I had to do was pass my hand over the reader. Within seconds, the transaction was complete.
I even tried again by picking up a stuffed animal (overpriced) for my child. To be fair, it’s a cute stuffed animal that goes from crazy to happy, so maybe it was worth the $ 15. Again, the checkout process only took a second as I waved my hand over the reader. It was too easy.
Amazon says it chose palm recognition over other forms of biometric identification because it is a little less scary than other forms of identification like a fingerprint or iris scan. Something tells me that people would have a bigger problem passing this biometric information to one of the biggest companies in the world. (Smartphones that use this technology usually store it on the device only)
The whole process is also contactless from start to finish, unlike tap to pay which often requires you to enter a PIN, sign, or press Credit or Debit on the screen. It doesn’t make sense in today’s COVID world.
Amazon’s palm reading method is convenient and quick, but its usefulness is limited if it is only available in Amazon stores. Tap to pay is very secure, almost as fast and more accessible to everyone.
Yet the idea that you can pay for items with a wave of your hand… without a phone, wallet or card needed – is innovative and futuristic. Amazon is already licensing third-party retailers for its ‘just on foot’ technology, it seems their goal is to do the same here to expand Amazon One’s reach.
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