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Amazon One turns your palm into a contactless payment method

Amazon has launched a new palm-reading device, but don’t worry, the domineering company isn’t trying to corner the market on predicting your future.

The contactless Amazon One reader is being trialled in its Amazon Go grocery stores in the US and enables users to pay for their goods. The firm says the device will create a “unique palm signature” for each person and says it is designed to be highly secure.

While Amazon is trialing the reader at its own brick and mortar stores, it has big plans for the future of the device, which works simply by hovering a hand above the sensor.

The company says the palm signature could be used as a ticket for a sporting event, to enter a work place, or as a retailer’s loyalty card. Given the need for contactless solutions in the era of COVID-19, there’s a great chance the palm reader could replace other biometric solutions like fingerprint sensors in many locations.

Related: Amazon Prime Day 2020

Amazon One

In recent years contactless tech has focused on using NFC-powered devices, payment cards and readers in order to limit physical contact. It’s hard to imagine a palm sensor being faster than this, but using the hand would reduce the need to actually take out the payment device.

In a blog post announcing Amazon One, the company said: “We built Amazon One to offer … a quick, reliable, and secure way for people to identify themselves or authorise a transaction while moving seamlessly through their day.

“We selected palm recognition for a few important reasons. One reason was that 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. And it’s contactless, which we think customers will appreciate, especially in current times. Ultimately, using a palm as a biometric identifier puts customers in control of when and where they use the service.”