Amazon is rolling out a new contactless technology that enables consumers to make payments and carry out other in-store transactions using the palm of their hand. This innovation is Amazon One. The internet giant has big plans for this technology, including offering it to third parties.

Amazon One is similar to the launch of Amazon Go retail stores, fitting into the category of contactless shopping. Equipped with computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning, Amazon’s cashier-less stores enable shoppers to walk in and out without waiting in line. Similar to this technology, the Amazon One scanner uses the palm of your hand to identify you, using a combination of surface-area details like lines and ridges, alongside vein patterns to create a “palm signature.” 

Amazon One Palm Scanner
Amazon One Palm Scanner

You don’t need an Amazon account to use Amazon One. The palm scanner requires only your mobile phone number and credit card details. Furthermore, those who link their palm ID with their Amazon account can manage their information online and see their usage history. The service is highly secure and uses custom-built algorithms and hardware to create a person’s unique palm signature. It is a quick, reliable, and secure way for people to identify themselves or authorize a transaction while moving seamlessly through their day. 

Not just the customers, but Amazon One verifies office workers by scanning the palm of their hand. 

The Launch of Amazon One Palm Scanner

Two Amazon Go stores in Seattle will have this palm scanner, enabling customers to register their palms. This will create a unique identity for each customer. For easy and contactless shopping, customers can insert their credit cards into the Amazon One device located at the entrance to link their payment credentials with their palm. By registering this way, they will then be able to access the Amazon Go stores. They can simply hover their palm over the Amazon One device every time they enter. It takes less than a minute to sign up at these Amazon Go stores!

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Amazon wants to establish the biometric standard for unique ID verification, replacing point-of-sale (POS) systems, badges, tickets, and other traditional methods of carrying out transactions. 

The company states that palm recognition technology is more private than some other biometric alternatives because you can’t determine a person’s identity by looking at an image of their palm.  The company further adds that palm images are not stored locally on Amazon One devices. Instead are encrypted and processed in “a highly secure area” which is “custom-built” in the cloud.

Looking Into the Future

After launching in the two stores, Amazon has future plans to introduce the palm scanner in other Amazon retail stores. Some reports suggest that Amazon has been testing this technology in a few Whole Foods stores. Gradually, we can expect the Amazon One scanner to be a part of retail giants like Walmart, Target, etc. This scanner will also be used inside office buildings, sports complexes, and shopping malls in the near future. Furthermore, the tech giant has said that it is “in active discussions with several potential customers.”

In most retail environments, Amazon One could become an alternate payment or loyalty card option. Furthermore, Amazon One usage will eventually extend beyond just palm-based payments.

Amazon One is not designed just to verify users for payments in Amazon’s stores. The company said it wants people to use their palm to facilitate “everyday activities”. Such as, presenting loyalty cards and verifying their identity before entering sports stadiums, offices, third-party grocery stores, and more.

During the ongoing pandemic and for the coming months, this contactless technology in stores is something customers will really appreciate and popularize.