The internet retail giant is testing scanners that can identify individuals' hands to pay for a store purchase, the New York Post reported Tuesday. Amazon hopes to have the scanners in place at its Whole Foods supermarkets by the beginning of next year, the newspaper reported, citing sources briefed on the company's plans.
Unlike fingerprint scanners found on mobile devices, Amazon's system doesn't require users to physically touch a scanning surface. Instead, it uses vision and depth geometry to scan the hands of shoppers with Amazon Prime accounts and then charge the purchases to their credit card information already on file, the newspaper reported.
The scanner is accurate to within one ten-thousandth of 1%, but Amazon engineers hope to achieve an accuracy of within a millionth of 1%, the newspaper reported.
An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment, saying "we don't comment on rumors or speculation."
This wouldn't be Amazon's first attempt to reinvent shopping. The company gained loads of attention when it unveiled Amazon Go, a chain of convenience stores lacking cash registers. Introduced in 2016, Amazon Go lets customers check in at turnstiles using their phones, grab whatever they want and then walk out.
However, state governments passed laws to ban cashless stores, saying they discriminate against lower-income or younger customers who don't have bank accounts, cards or smartphones. In response to these concerns, Amazon said earlier this year it'd start accepting cash at its Amazon Go stores.
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