Phones and smartwatches make it easy to zip past cash registers and gas pumps, but what if things were even easier? The new Amazon One device turns your palm into a contactless payment method, so you can wave your hand around instead of whipping out your phone or flipping your wrist.
Wait, why palm reading? It sounds like an odd choice, but Amazon chose palm reading over other biometric methods because its more secure than fingerprints, yet less of a privacy concern than facial recognition. Your “palm signature,” as Amazon calls it is, an amalgamation of your palm’s unique shape, size, and textures, so no palm signatures are alike.
Of course, you have to give Amazon your “palm signature,” your credit card, and a phone number to sign up for Amazon One. But you don’t have to link your Amazon One account to a regular Amazon account, which is nice to know. Even people who refuse to shop at Amazon could use Amazon One to pay at the grocery store, present a loyalty card at a hobby shop, or verify that they purchased a ticket for a concert.
Amazon One is available now in select Amazon Go grocery stores in Seattle, Washington. The device may find its way to other venues in the future, as it manages to avoid the creeping threat of facial recognition and address concerns about how cash and credit cards can spread germs.