E-commerce giant Amazon has announced the launch of a completely contactless palm scanning technology which they are calling Amazon One. The technology can be linked to bank accounts to enable payment and is currently being trialled in two of the companies Amazon Go stores in Seattle. Users of this new technology won’t need an Amazon account to access it, although it will be possible to use the two together. The palm scanner works by taking an image of an individuals palm when placed over the scan pad for a few seconds. Images are then stored in a secure cloud and users can choose to delete their information at any time. Experts have said that the use of palm scanning is just as secure as using a fingerprint scan, but with the benefit of not needing physical contact with the image reader. This latest announcement comes after Amazon chose to pause police use of their facial recognition software amid concerns from civil rights groups regarding the potential for racial bias. Palm recognition software avoids this issue. Amazon says that they have chosen palm recognition technology rather than a fingerprint or retinal options because it is “more private”. They also feel that customers will appreciate the contactless nature of the technology “especially in current times”. If the trial in Seattle is successful, then the technology could potentially be rolled out across multiple industries including music or sporting events and shop loyalty schemes. Amazon has said that they are already in talks with companies who are interested in using the software.
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