Amazon has introduced a fast, contactless way that allows people to use their palm to hover and pay at checkout, present a loyalty card, or badge into an access-controlled location.
Amazon One is a secure identity service that uses custom-built algorithms and hardware to create a person’s unique palm signature. Amazon will offer the service to third parties like retailers, stadiums, and office buildings allowing people to identify themselves or authorize a transaction while moving through their day.
According to Amazon, palm recognition is considered more private than some biometric alternatives because you can’t determine a person’s identity by looking at an image of their palm. It also requires someone to make an intentional gesture by holding their palm over the device to use, unlike face recognition. And of course, it's contactless – something that people will appreciate in current times.
Amazon will pilot the service at two Amazon Go stores in Seattle, where customers will be able to use Amazon One as an entry option. According to Amazon, the service could become an alternate payment or loyalty card option in most retail environments with a device at the checkout counter next to a traditional point of sale system. The company will also add Amazon One as an option in additional Amazon stores in the coming months beyond Amazon Go.
To sign up at these Amazon Go stores using an Amazon One device, you will need to insert your credit card, hover your palm over the device, and follow the prompts to associate that card with the unique palm signature being built in real-time. To allay the privacy concerns, Amazon asserts that palm images are never stored on the Amazon One device. They are encrypted and sent to a secure, custom-built service on the cloud where your palm signature is created.
Note that you won’t need an Amazon account to sign up or start using Amazon One—just a mobile phone number and credit card. However, if you choose to use your Amazon account with Amazon One, you can manage your information and see your usage history.
Once you’re enrolled, to use Amazon One to enter these Amazon Go stores, you’ll just need to hold your palm above the Amazon One device for about a second or so, and that’s that.