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Amazon Sees The Future In Your Palm

Image via Amazon

Amazon has come a long way from its early days of selling books online. The company has become one of the most innovative companies with the introduction of recent technologies such as its Amazon Go Grocery store with the company's "Just Walk Out" technology and the Amazon Dash Cart.

Earlier this year we wrote about Amazon's more than 37,000 job postings which revealed the job category in which Amazon has the most postings is in technology-related roles. At the time, Amazon had approximately 18,000 job postings in software development roles such as solutions architect, engineering, database administration, machine learning and data science.

Amazon announced yesterday its latest innovation called the Amazon One. The Amazon One is a contactless method for people to use their palm to perform actions such as paying at a store, presenting a loyalty card and entering a location like a stadium or badging into work. Amazon says the technology is highly secure and uses custom-built algorithms and hardware to create a unique palm signature for each individual.

The Amazon One will be introduced at the entry gate at select Amazon Go stores as an option for shoppers to use to enter the store. Two Amazon Go stores in Seattle, including Amazon's original Amazon Go store, debuted the technology yesterday as Amazon says more locations will implement the technology in the months to come.

Amazon says it takes less than one minute to sign up for the technology. Customers insert their credit cards into a reader and then have their palm scanned to associate it with that credit card. Customers will be given the option of scanning just one palm or both. Once signed up, it takes about 1 second for the Amazon One to read a customer's palm.

Amazon says it chose to use the palm because it requires an intentional gesture, as well as because it is more private than other biometric alternatives and can't be used to identify an individual on its own. Amazon also says consumers may appreciate that it's contactless given the current environment.

As has become the norm with technologies Amazon develops, the goal appears to be to sell it to others besides using it for their own businesses. Amazon says it is already in discussions with several potential customers about using its technology.

"We believe Amazon One has broad applicability beyond our retail stores, so we also plan to offer the service to third parties like retailers, stadiums, and office buildings so that more people can benefit from this ease and convenience in more places," Amazon Vice President Physical Retail & Technology Dilip Kumar wrote. "Interested third parties can reach out through the email address provided on our Amazon One website."

Amazon says you need just a mobile phone number and credit card to create an account with Amazon One. Users who wish to no longer use the technology will be able to clear their unique palm signature and all of the data associated with it.

Amazon continues to innovate and rethink the way people conduct simple, everyday tasks. As Amazon continues to gain dominance, it's likely it will continue to roll out new technologies.

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