US technology giant Amazon is targeting the stadium market with the launch of a new biometric payment system using palm recognition.

Amazon One is initially being introduced in an effort to boost the customer shopping experience in retail outlets, but the company has said it sees the technology being harnessed to ease entry into locations such as stadiums.

Starting from yesterday (Tuesday), customers can use Amazon One as an entry option at two of the company’s Amazon Go stores in its home city of Seattle. Amazon has said it takes less than a minute to sign up at these stores using an Amazon One device.

The first step is to insert a credit card into the device. Users are then asked to hover their palm over the device and follow the prompts to associate that card with the unique palm signature being built by the computer vision technology in real time.

An Amazon account won’t be required to utilise the tech, just a mobile phone number and credit card. Once enrolled, customers using Amazon One to enter Amazon Go stores will need to hold their palm above the device at entry for about a second or so.

Amazon vice-president Dilip Kumar said in a blog post: “We selected palm recognition for a few important reasons. One reason was that palm recognition is considered more private than some biometric alternatives because you can’t determine a person’s identity by looking at an image of their palm.

“It also requires someone to make an intentional gesture by holding their palm over the device to use. And it’s contactless, which we think customers will appreciate, especially in current times. Ultimately, using a palm as a biometric identifier puts customers in control of when and where they use the service.”

In Amazon Go stores, Amazon One will be added to the store’s entry gate as a choice for customers to use to enter the store to shop. In most retail environments, Amazon said the tech could become an alternate payment or loyalty card option with a device at the checkout counter next to a traditional point of sale system.

Beyond Amazon Go, Amazon said it expects to add Amazon One as an option in additional Amazon stores in the coming months. It stated its belief that Amazon One has “broad applicability” beyond its retail stores, adding that it plans to offer the service to third parties like retailers, stadiums, and office buildings.

Kumar said: “As with everything Amazon does, we started with the customer experience and worked backwards. We solved for things that are durable and have stood the test of time but often cause friction or wasted time for customers.

“We wondered whether we could help improve experiences like paying at checkout, presenting a loyalty card, entering a location like a stadium, or even badging into work. So, we built Amazon One to offer just that—a quick, reliable, and secure way for people to identify themselves or authorise a transaction while moving seamlessly through their day.”

Image: Amazon