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The Futuristic Way You Could Soon Be Paying At Whole Foods

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In one of most futuristic shopping developments yet, Amazon One takes contactless payment to the next level by reading the palm of a person’s hand to charge for purchases. (And we thought we’d only ever see that in the movies!) Enrolling is quick and simple and only needs to be done once — after inserting a credit or debit card into a mobile device, the customer then hovers their hand over that device, which reads their unique “palm image” to create an individual signature that will be associated with the account. Once enrolled, checking out takes “about a second or so,” says Amazon’s Dilip Kumar in the announcement at AboutAmazon.com.

So how exactly does this work? Amazon explains the science in its helpful How It Works guide at One.Amazon.com, noting “your palm is made up of tiny, distinct features on and below the surface, many that are indiscernible to the human eye or a standard camera.” Like fingerprints, no two palms are alike, which makes it unique to each individual person. Privacy concerns are valid, of course, and Amazon addresses those by adding, “Your palm is a personal part of you and you alone decide when to hover it, and when to keep it private.” Regarding claims that Amazon’s new cashier-less technologies might result in job cuts, Reuters notes that Amazon One still requires someone to scan the items and further stated that the company confirmed this will not impact jobs.

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