The Amazon One naked payments system is officially on its way to select Whole Foods locations. The technology will first appear at the Whole Foods Market store at Madison Broadway in Seattle, before expanding to seven more Whole Foods stores in the surrounding area. Amazon could move forward with a national release if those early deployments go well.
Amazon first unveiled the Amazon One system in September, confirming months of speculation that such a project was in the works. The system uses palm recognition to link a person’s hand template to their physical payment card, with in turn allows them to make payments without needing to present that card at participating locations. The Amazon One terminal uses computer vision to conduct the palm scan, and would be placed at the checkout counter.
Amazon stressed that the Amazon One terminals would not replace more conventional payment methods like cash and cards, but would instead provide customers with one more payment option. The technology has already been installed at several other Amazon stores in the Seattle area, including Amazon Go and Amazon Go Grocery stores that do not have cashiers at checkout. Amazon Books, Amazon 4-star, and Amazon Pop Up are some of the other outlets that have installed Amazon One technology.
According to Amazon, thousands of people have already registered their palms with the Amazon One system, though those people will still need to re-insert their credit card the first time they use the service at Whole Foods. Users can link their Amazon One ID to their Amazon account to take advantage of Prime discounts, and can choose to register one or both palms.
The palm templates are not stored on the Amazon One terminal, but are instead encrypted and stored remotely in the cloud. Amazon claimed that it will delete the biometric information of anyone who later decides to opt out of the system, which is noteworthy given the tech giant’s ongoing struggles with data privacy and consent. The company has also been criticized for sharing smart doorbell footage with the police.
Source: Tech Crunch
April 23, 2021 – by Eric Weiss