- Amazon is introducing a version of its palm scanning technology for businesses.
- The company is pitching the service as a way for employees to swipe to enter an office or access sensitive data.
- The Amazon One payment system is used in Amazon grocery stores.
Amazon is expanding its palm scanning technology beyond grocery stores and launching a version designed for the business world.
Amazon One Enterprise recasts the company’s palm-based payment system as an authentication tool that allows corporate employees to swipe to enter an office or access sensitive information like financial data or human resources records. .
Companies that have already signed up for biometric technology include IHG Hotels and Resorts, turnstile maker Boon Edam and Kone, an escalator and elevator supplier. Amazon did not disclose pricing for the service, which is available in preview in the United States starting Monday.
Amazon presents the service as a cheaper and more secure solution for businesses compared to traditional security and authentication tools such as keychains, badges or passwords.
“Businesses value privacy and convenience for their users, who can access physical locations and software assets with the wave of a palm,” said Dilip Kumar, vice president who oversees Amazon’s web services applications, in a release.
Amazon debuted its biometric payment system in 2020. The technology was originally conceived as a way for shoppers to pay for purchases with a swipe. It has been rolled out at Whole Foods grocery stores, some Go malls, and several Fresh supermarkets. Sports and entertainment venues have also embraced the technology, as have some Panera Bread restaurants and a handful of Starbucks locations.
Advocacy groups have criticized the service over privacy and security concerns, arguing that it leads to increased surveillance. Amazon says palm recognition is more private than other biometric systems “because a person’s identity cannot be determined by looking at an image of their palm.” The company also claims that it does not capture purchase data from scans collected by non-Amazon stores.
In reinventing Amazon One for business, the company is following a playbook it has adopted elsewhere. Earlier this month, Amazon introduced Astro for Business, a version of its home robot that it is pitching as a roving security guard for businesses.
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