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 turning your wrist.
Wait, why hand-read? It sounds like an odd choice, but Amazon chose palm reading over other biometric methods because it is more secure than fingerprints, but still less of an integrity issue than face recognition. Your “palm signature”;, as Amazon calls it, is a fusion of your palm’s unique shape, size and textures, so no palm manuscript is 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 do not need to link your Amazon One account to a regular Amazon account, which is nice to know. Even people who refuse to shop on Amazon can use Amazon One to pay at the grocery store, present a loyalty card in a hobby shop or verify that they have bought a ticket to a concert.
Amazon One is now available in select Amazon Go grocery stores in Seattle, Washington. The device may find its way to other locations in the future, as it manages to avoid the creeping threat of face recognition and address concerns about how cash and credit cards can spread bacteria.