Amazon is working on a payment system that can use an individual human hand for identification. The payment system must be used in the Whole Foods supermarket chain.
The intention is that the system called Orville will be rolled out in the coming months, suggesting sources with knowledge of the plans opposite The New York Post. The idea is that a user is identified by his hand, after which the payment is automatically debited from the corresponding credit or debit card.
The sensors used for the system do not require users to physically touch the scanning surface. The sensors instead use computer vision and depth geometry to process and identify the shape and size of a hand.
The system has already been tested by employees of Amazon itself, at a handful of vending machines with food and phone chargers. The system is accurate to one ten thousandth of a percent. However, company engineers are working to increase that accuracy to one millionth of a percent.
Amazon wants to roll out the technology to various Whole Foods stores in America at the beginning of next year. Customers with Amazon Prime accounts can then start to pay for their hand.
Ultimately, the technology needs to be extended to all Whole Foods locations in the US. How fast that goes depends on how quickly Whole Foods can install it and train employees to use it.
Once the technology has been implemented, payments can be made within 300 milliseconds, says a source. A regular transaction with a credit or debit card takes three to four seconds.
Amazon has been working on cash-less stores for a long time. In his Go shops, for example, it is possible to pay with a smartphone. Customers scan their phones to get in, after which cameras in the store keep track of what someone picks up from the shelves. When you leave, the phone is scanned again. Amazon sends the bill to the customer’s credit card.
The Go stores are already in various locations, including Chicago and San Francisco. At the end of last year, a compact version of the store was opened in the Seattle office.