Data Driven Futures

Amazon trialling ‘hand swish’ payments tech

Written by Hannah McGrath

Amazon is reportedly trialling the use of new technology which would enable shoppers to pay for goods with the swish of a hand.

According to the New York Post, the e-commerce giant has been testing biometric scanners with employees at its New York office, with a view to rolling the technology out to its Whole Foods supermarkets chain.

The paper reported sources claiming that the Amazon employees are currently “guinea pigs” for the system code named “Orville”, as the high-touch scanners at the vending machine enable them to buy snacks and phone chargers.

The sensors do not require physical touch, unlike biometric fingerprint scanners on phones and keypads. The scanners are reported to use depth geometry and computer vision which analyses the shape and size of the user’s hands before matching it up with a registered payment card which is automatically charged.

The technology is apparently accurate to one ten-thousandth of one per cent, but Amazon is said to want to ensure that it is accurate to within one millionth of one per cent before it can be deployed across the Whole Foods store network.

A spokesman for Amazon said: "We do not comment on rumors or speculation."