Amazon has debuted Amazon One, a device that connects your account and payment card to your palm for contactless shopping.
On Tuesday, the e-commerce giant said the device has been designed to provide a “fast, convenient, [and] contactless way” to perform everyday activities, such as paying for goods and accessing buildings.
In a blog post, Dilip Kumar, VP of Physical Retail & Technology at Amazon explained that the biometric scanning device is launching at just two Amazon brick-and-mortar stores in Seattle, Washington today, but it’s expected to spread to all of Amazon’s Go stores in the near future.
The company says it will start in select Amazon Go stores before expanding to additional Amazon stores, which could mean bookshops or Whole Foods Market locations, “in the coming months.” It will also offer the service to third-party retailers and other businesses that might find the technology beneficial.
So, why palms? Amazon believes that it offers more privacy than other biometric methods because one can’t figure out a person’s identity with a palm image alone.
“In most retail environments, Amazon One could become an alternate payment or loyalty card option with a device at the checkout counter next to a traditional point of sale system,” wrote Kumar. “Or, for entering a location like a stadium or badging into work, Amazon One could be part of an existing entry point to make accessing the location quicker and easier.”
Amazon isn’t yet saying whether it has already secured any third-party partners. But Kumar wrote that the company is “in active discussions with several potential customers.”
“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,” he added.