Amazon’s ghostly convenience stores don’t have any staff, now the company has somehow found a way to make shopping there even creepier.
Amazon’s ghostly convenience stores don’t have any staff, now the company has somehow found a way to make shopping there even creepier.

Amazon’s creepy payment plan will get under your skin

Amazon is one step closer to implementing its creepy, futuristic flesh-and-blood payment system.

The e-tailing giant's engineers on Thursday filed a patent application for a device that can scan a human hand - without ever touching it - as a way to ring up a store purchase.

As the New York Post reported in September, the device is being developed by Amazon engineers under the code name "Orville" for a future rollout at the Amazon-owned Whole Foods supermarket chain.

 

Employees at Amazon's New York offices have been serving as guinea pigs for the biometric technology, using it at a handful of vending machines to buy such items as sodas, chips, granola bars and phone chargers, according to sources briefed on the plans.

Recode first reported the news of Amazon's Thursday patent filing, which says the device will identify users by surface characteristics of the palm such as wrinkles as well as deeper features like veins.

Once implemented, the system will allow customers with Amazon Prime accounts to scan their hands at the store and link them to their credit or debit card.

As The Post previously reported, the technology is accurate to within one ten-thousandth of 1 per cent, but Amazon engineers have been scrambling to improve it to a millionth of 1 per cent ahead of its launch.

 

This is not the first time Amazon has tried to making the experience of buying things as simple as possible. The company's budding chain of "Go" convenience stores that launched last year let customers use a phone app to check in at a turnstile. They can then fill their bags and carry them out without ever passing a register thanks to computer vision and an array of sensors all over the store.

This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission


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