Microsoft Research pushes mobile payments to the creepy edge with Zero Effort Payment

Getting your wallet out and paying for stuff is the biggest first world problem out there. That's why many companies, including Google, Microsoft and the credit card companies are working on alternatives. Most of them are focused on mobile payments via NFC but Microsoft Research took a different approach.

Folks over at Microsoft Research combined two technologies: Bluetooth and Kinect. The idea is that when a customer enters the store his phone will send a unique ID over Bluetooth to the shop's cashier. Then, when the customer is ready to buy something he goes towards the cashier where a Kinect sensor will use facial recognition to further identify him. The cashier is presented with four possible face matches and has to pick the correct one. Then the customers cellphone gets billed the same way it would have happened with NFC but with less effort.

Upon completion the customer receives a confirmation e-mail with a 10-second video of the purchase attached, in case he wishes to dispute the charge to his account. Microsoft says they've been using this technology in two locations and so far out of 705 purchases and 274 customers nobody has complained of a billing mistake.

Source: Microsoft Research Via: WMPU | Smartphone with money image via Shutterstock

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26 Comments

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I cant understand the lazy comments since we already got the touch to pay system. This is more secure than PINs, signatures and all crap. You never forget your face home and if this existed, I would probably kept my wallet at home for 80% of the scenarios (damn those small shops that take no cards)

It's the same old story, some people are willing to sacrifice privacy and freedom for convenience and perceived safety. There should at least be an awareness and acknowledgement of how all these technologies can be used against you as much as for you.

Hahaiah said,
I don't like it and won't use it...next. Seriously, does the NSA give Microsoft and Google ALL their ideas?

Its a good idea since its prevents credit card theft. If the faces don't match the transaction doesn't get authorized.

I mean even though it's 2013 the only thing we have to protect against credit card theft is a stupid signature that nobody ever bothers checking.

i'm a litte curious about the "unique ID",
if there some company offering to buy data of what items that each "ID" purchaces,
that data can be used to creates targeted ads for each "ID"'s phone.

Torolol said,
i'm a litte curious about the "unique ID",
if there some company offering to buy data of what items that each "ID" purchaces,
that data can be used to creates targeted ads for each "ID"'s phone.

If you pay with ATM or credit card you also are registered under an unique ID. No difference there.

Shadowzz said,

If you pay with ATM or credit card you also are registered under an unique ID. No difference there.

if i Pay using Cards bank doesn't know what detail of ITEMS i purchaces, they only know total nominals & vendors.
Current normal payment doesn't allow vendor to retains the ID of my cards,
vendor cant easy-ly makes data which ID purchases which ITEMS,
but Microsoft way will make such task a lot easy-er, and that data can now easyly shared or sold to advertisers corps..

but then again, i always prefer cash whenever possible.

Edited by Torolol, Mar 17 2013, 4:32am :

Torolol said,

if i Pay using Cards bank doesn't know what detail of ITEMS i purchaces, they only know total nominals & vendors.
Current normal payment doesn't allow vendor to retains the ID of my cards,
vendor cant easy-ly makes data which ID purchases which ITEMS,
but Microsoft way will make such task a lot easy-er, and that data can now easyly shared or sold to advertisers corps..

but then again, i always prefer cash whenever possible.


I do not normally do this and apologize if English is not your first language but wow, if it is: easier and easily; not easy-ly easy-er. With that said, this is cool and does have added security but as someone posted above it will be quite some time until we see this, if ever.

Cash, I'd rather (and always will) pay with cash over a plastic card, a mobile phone, or some stupid 'wireless card' system.

No, but the corporations sure would like to pat you for forking with your money over a swipe of plastic like they say you should.

recursive said,
No, but the corporations sure would like to pat you for forking with your money over a swipe of plastic like they say you should.

wtf is forking.. As for the cost of swiping.. I have unlimited debit transactions.. Thanks.. And because I have money I don't pay montly bank fées..

I think it's creative though, using your phone via nfc is good to but this, IMO, adds another level of security to the mix with the facial check.

lol this has so much comedy potential.

I like the idea of payment systems linking in with my phone. Stores where I have a storecard or something, sure thing, send some data when I walk in the store so you know my preferences but yeah I think ill decide with my voice if I want to buy something, not just my facial expression

Osiris said,
lol this has so much comedy potential.

I like the idea of payment systems linking in with my phone. Stores where I have a storecard or something, sure thing, send some data when I walk in the store so you know my preferences but yeah I think ill decide with my voice if I want to buy something, not just my facial expression

The facial scan is just to make sure you are who the phone says you are, it's a added security check really.

They actually said they're making a lot of test to make sure it doesn't drain the battery. So far it seems to be pretty good on that front, though it's going to take a long time before we actually see this in phones ( if ever ).

The Bluetooth on my Lumia 900 IS on all the time and I still get a full day if I don't spend more than 4 hours on the phone with clients...

duddit2 said,
agreed, although people could have said that about cars (was walking not good enough?)

Totally out of proportion comparison.
Walking distances are severely limited, whereas wallet size for money to buy your every day junk isn't as such.