Amazon has launched a new payment system ‘palm scanner’ that can work through a single wave of the hand.
According to details, the new device Amazon One scanner recognizes an image of the user’s palm. The scanner enables the users to pay by waving their hand in mid-air “for about a second or so”, it says.
The device will be tested at two of Amazon’s physical stores in Seattle.
The company stated that it is “in active discussions with several potential customers” about rolling it out to other shops in the future.
“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,” it said.
In addition to this, Amazon said that the system could be used for “entering a location like a stadium” or scanning yourself into work instead of using an ID card.
“We believe Amazon One has broad applicability beyond our retail stores,” it added.
Amazon said that the scanner will use “custom-built algorithms and hardware” and scan “distinct features on and below the surface” of the hand. But it also mentioned that the reasons it chose palm recognition were that it is “more private” than some other options.
“You can’t determine a person’s identity by looking at an image of their palm,” it said, possibly a reference to the controversy surrounding facial recognition
Dr. Basel Halak of the Electronics and Computer Science School at the University of Southampton, said, “Palm-based identification is based on capturing the vein patterns of the palm.”
“These patterns are different for each finger and each person, and as they are hidden underneath the skin’s surface, forgery is extremely difficult.”
Dr. Halak said that the level of security was similar to a fingerprint scan. However, it could be used at a distance of a few inches.
“In comparison with other forms of identifiers such as physical devices, this form of biometric authentication is based on physical characteristics that stay constant throughout one’s lifetime and are more difficult to fake, change or steal,” he said.