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Will Amazon’s new palm recognition become the next popular biometric technology?

Amazon recently introduced a new biometric payment device, Amazon One, in two of its Go stores in Seattle. Shoppers can now enter and pay at cashier-free Amazon Go stores by scanning their palms.

The company opened its first Amazon Go store in Seattle to the public in January 2018. Currently, Amazon operates 21 Go stores in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, with five temporarily closed.

Unlike a typical grocery store, Amazon Go offers grab-and-go, ready-to-eat snacks, breakfast, and lunch options for shoppers. Shopping at Amazon Go can be as easy as walking in and out of the store. After consumers download the Amazon Go app and link the account with a form of payment, they can:

  • Walk into the store by scanning the Amazon Go app.
  • Grab the items wanted.
  • Walk out of the store.
  • Be charged through the Amazon Go app.

How Amazon One works

Amazon One works similarly to the Amazon Go app. To sign up, shoppers will need a credit card, a mobile number, and of course, their palm. Then, they can start using their palm as a form of identification (ID) or a form of payment where the device is available.

In Amazon Go stores, for example, shoppers can scan their palm instead of the Amazon Go app as they enter and shop inside. When they finish, they can walk out. A charge will be placed on their Amazon One account.

Amazon One’s target market

The coronavirus is primarily transmitted through direct or indirect close contacts with infected COVID-19 patients. Amazon One enables consumers to avoid touching the surfaces that others may have touched earlier. While both Amazon Go and Amazon One embrace the contactless self-service trend, the company sees broader implications for Amazon One devices.

Places with high foot traffic, such as stadiums, restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, and any gated or secured facilities, could benefit from the device. Once installed and connected to the cloud, it can provide the contactless type of service demanded by customers.

Palm recognition vs. other biometric technologies

Compared to palm recognition, facial recognition has been put into use in major airports, shopping malls, and restaurants for a few years. Many of us have been using facial recognition technology to unlock our mobile devices multiple times a day.

Some believe that palm recognition is a less-risky biometric technology because our palm is not as easily observable as our face or ear print. Likewise, people may use their fingerprints, another form of biometric data, more often in legal documents but rarely use their palm for identification purposes.

Technology-wise, palm recognition does not need to solve some of the unique challenges that facial or fingerprint recognition encounter. For instance, not all devices using facial recognition can tell the differences between identical twins. Meanwhile, it is not as easy to recognize a person’s fingerprints with a touchless device.

Privacy concerns of biometric technologies

Amazon One will store consumers’ palm data in the cloud, and they can choose to remove the data later. That creates a potential risk of exposing consumers’ biometric data to hackers. Nevertheless, storing the data in the cloud is probably the only solution because Amazon targets a broad audience who wants to use palm data as an ID or form of payment.

In such cases as Apple’s Face ID and biometric terminals in airports, consumers’ biometric data are stored locally. It is possible that hackers can still find ways to access the data in a local device or server, but people may feel more secured.

The future of palm technology

Because the unique biometric data associated with a person’s palm are not used as widely as face or fingerprints, will people feel more comfortable storing such data in the cloud? After people try palm recognition, how many of them would fall in love with the technology? Will palm recognition become the next preferred biometric technology?

Note: This post was also published on; The picture was downloaded from


  1. Qinqin Chen HRT3500.02
    If the service takes off, you could imagine palm verification being incorporated not only into shops and offices, but smart homes, theme parks, airports, and anywhere else where you have to verify you are who you say you are.

  2. I think this is a really interesting form of biometric security/ payment. I can see how this would be really useful for people who tend to forget their wallets a lot, or even for people who do not want to touch any high contact surfaces in public. I am a bit worried about customer’ data and security information being hacked since it is stored in the cloud. However, since there are hardly any stores/ businesses that are using palm recognition, I think people are more likely to try it out. Once the larger population tries it out and Amazon reinforces the fact that the information would be safe, this might be the new preferred option of biometric technology.

    HRT 3500.01, Eleanor Tan

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I believe Amazon’s new palm recognition become the next popular biometric technology. The palm recognition payment is a major innovation in payment methods. It can record palm recognition and quickly check out during consumption. Compared with the mobile phone payment, although it is very convenient to use, but the mobile phone may run out of power or connect with poor internet service when you check out. Therefore, to use of palm recognition payment will greatly improve the efficiency of cashiers, reduce the time consumers wait in line, and enhance the shopping experience.
    Haozheng Tu 3500-02

  4. Palm recognition tech from Amazon, I think, definitely has potential to become the next big biometric authentication system. We already have iris scanners, fingerprint recognition, face identification, and more but palm recognition could definitely become big because of a few reasons. Palm recognition would be in support of covid protocols, providing the person does not have to place their palm on a surface in order to get it read. Another is just ease of use. You can just hold out your palm and pay for something, rather than fumbling with apple pay or your credit card. I definitely thing palm recognition could take off.
    HRT 3500.01

  5. Palm recognition technology from Amazon has a lot of potential to become the next biggest thing in our society. Our society and culture has already implemented other authentication technology and systems such as fingerprint recognition, face recognition, and iris recognition. Palm recognition could definitely take authentication technology to the next level depending on how it is implemented and how it works. For instance, if an individual has to place their hand on to a scanner like how we do with our fingers on a finger scanner then it may not be the best authentication technology to release or good public at the moment with COVID-19.

    1. Victoria Phuthong
      HRT 3500-01

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Amazon's biometric palm recognition technology is a revolutionary development during the pandemic because it provides contactless services that reduces the need for human interactions. Amazon One is a grocery store located in Seattle that is completely cashier-free! The store uses a biometric authentication system that allow shoppers to pay by scanning their palms. This technology makes shopping as easy as walking into the store, grabbing what you need, and leaving, literally. The use of palm technology is also meant to feel less daunting or intimidating as facial scans and ear prints. More Amazon Go stores are set to appear in the near future, and it will be really interesting to see how this technology becomes integrated into other areas of the hospitality industry.

    Vienna Tan
    HRT 3500 Section 02

  8. Ellyse Kapicki HRT 3500.01November 16, 2020 at 10:45 AM

    I believe the future of palm technology is very bright. Due to COVID-19 I believe palm recognition is a great idea! It eliminates contact that may spread COVID-19. Fingerprints and cards with pin codes you have to punch in requires you to touch things. With palm recognition this problem is removed completely. At first, I think people maybe uncomfortable with storing this data but will eventually except it because it is safer with COVID-19 and very convenient since you do not have to open your wallet to get money or cards. In America people seem to always be in a rush to be somewhere and I think because the palm recognition is easy, quick, and painless it will become very popular. This would even be a great idea to implement into hotel check-ins to reduce the amount of contact. Lastly, since this new technology is not as widely used as fingerprints and face recognition I believe it will be harder for people to hack.
    WORDS: 164

    Ellyse Kapicki HRT 3500 Section 01

  9. Timothy Lam HRT 3500.02November 16, 2020 at 3:07 PM

    This is an extremely interesting topic because it has just been recently where companies like Amazon or some fast casual restaurants have been brave enough to start utilizing cashier-free payments. I definitely think that there is an enormous potential for this technically, especially knowing that similar technology such as facial-recognition has been being used in other parts of the world such as China. As cool as it is, in the American culture, privacy is a huge factor that is considered so I am not sure if biometric technology will be the best option but rather the continual use of app scanning is better. Coronavirus has really been pushing the boundaries of what we can do to further limit the spread of germs and think that this is a big step towards the big picture.

    Timothy Lam HRT 3500.02


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