The News Today
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9.23.19
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Amazon Wants You to Pay for Things With Your Handprint

September 4th 19__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Future Society
Victor Tangermann

Hand Waving

Amazon is working on a new payment system that would build a 3D map of customers’ hands, letting them check out at Amazon stores by scanning their handprint.

For now, the company is doing a test run — it integrated the hand scanners into the vending machines at the company’s New York offices, meaning Amazon employees are serving as guinea pigs in exchange for regular-priced snacks, according to MIT Technology Review. Down the road, the hand-scanners, dubbed the “Orville” system, could make their way to Amazon-owned Whole Foods, potentially upending the way we interact with and spend our money.

Doctor Carmack!

Orville’s computer vision system would scan a customer’s hand to store a detailed rendering of its shape and size, linking that information to their accounts so in the future they could check out by waving their hands like a Jedi.

But Orville could lead to sticky security situations. As MIT Tech Review points out, credit cards can easily be replaced when compromised or stolen, but it’s harder to swap out the hand that you’ve linked to your bank account.

READ MORE: Amazon is apparently testing a system that lets you pay by scanning your hand [MIT Technology Review]

More on retail: Amazon Is Testing Its Cashierless Tech in Big Box Stores