In the quest for a simpler and more secure path to purchase, Amazon has moved to new extremes.
Amazon has filed a patent for a technology that authorises payments in the blink of an eye – literally.
The patent specifically relates to a two-picture process that hopes to identify and verify a user as a living human being.
It works like this: (1) Press ‘buy now’ on a product, (2) orient your face within an in-browser box on your computer screen, (3) wink with your left eye, and (4) watch your bank account balance drain away.
The idea isn't as crazy as it sounds. The first picture taken, Amazon says, is intended to establish a customer’s identity. The second selfie, meanwhile, will make sure someone isn’t just holding up an inanimate photo of the user.
“[Facial recognition] can often be spoofed by holding a picture of the user in front of the camera, as the resulting two-dimensional image can look substantially the same whether taken of the user or a picture of the user,” writes Amazon.
It continues: “The [patented technology] verifies that the image information corresponds to a living human using one or more human-verification processes.”
These verification processes aren’t necessarily confined to a blink, and could include other facial gestures.
Amazon says it’s concerned that passwords are prone to exploitation by hackers, prompting the development of this technology.
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The patent was first filed in October, but has only now been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
It’s worth noting that Amazon may not be successful in its patent application, and the technology might never roll out irrespective of the outcome of the application anyway.
Let us know what you think of Amazon’s proposed security trick in the comments.