Amazon Looks to Patent A Different Kind of Identification Technology

Recent reports have shown the distrust that average consumers have concerning facial recognition technology. A new patent filed by Amazon is going beyond the looks of a person’s face and attempts to identify them using the veins in their hands. The idea is to incorporate this system with their Amazon Go shopping centers, identifying the consumer with their Amazon online account.

High Tech Scanning Cameras

When the scanning technology was first announced, news outlets reported that the tech might have made their way into Whole Foods stores. However, new information shows that the online retail giant is installing it into its own retail chain stores. The aim is to use a non-invasive methodology for linking users with their accounts.

How Vein Scanning Works

The user would be invited to wave their hands in front of an infrared camera, which takes two images. The first photo checks to make sure that it’s a hand to avoid scammers utilizing the system to create fraudulent transactions. The second image checks for “deeper” characteristics, like the veins in the person’s hand. It then collects those secondary traits and sends it to a system for verification of the user and linking to the shopping profile of the individual. The system is revolutionary, not only in the non-invasive nature of the technology but also in the protection of user data. In a world where cloning or scanning a credit card can be done in a matter of seconds, this system ensures that the user never has to use their credit card, as all information is stored in the customer’s account.

Larger Pool of Data Points

The downside of the system is that it potentially offers Amazon access to a lot more user details than an online profile generates. Whether this will sit well with consumers remains to be seen. Amazon doesn’t have the same poor reputation of leaking user data as other retail companies have. Still, the collection of more data to link to user accounts may not sit well with most Amazon users, since it offers more insight into their habits for the retail giant to exploit.