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Amazon is Considering Using a Hand-Recognition Payment Method at Whole Foods

Sep 6, 2019 by CharismaticMannequin

You’ve used your debit or credit card to buy food. You’ve used cash. You’ve even used your phone or smart watch. Ready to use your hands directly? That’s right. Amazon wants you to leave your phone and bank cards at home, and just use your palms to purchase from Whole Foods.

“According to New York Post, Amazon is testing a payment system codenamed "Orville" that scans human hands to ring up purchases. The e-commerce giant is reportedly using its New York employees as guinea pigs by installing the system on a handful of vending machines selling chips, sodas and phone chargers in its offices. 

Unlike most biometric systems that require you to touch the surface of a scanner, Amazon's take on the technology apparently doesn't need you to physically touch any device. The company's technology uses computer vision and depth geometry to identify the size and shape of your hand before charging the credit card you have on file.” (Engadget)

There’s of course the concern that handing over your biometric data to companies is a slipper slope. Sure, it’s not a direct picture of your face whenever you go to grab some milk and eggs, but it’s just as dangerous. With the amount of hacking and data-theft taking place these days, it’s not a confidence-inspiring endeavour. 

Amazon hopes to roll the technology out to a handful of its Whole Foods stores by the start of 2020, and available at all US locations beyond that at some point in the future. Currently, the company is working on ensuring the technology is as accurate as possible, increasing its efficiency from “one ten-thousandth of 1 percent to a millionth of 1 percent before launch”.


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