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Amazon reportedly exploring hand-recognition technology

In the not-too-distant future, shoppers at Amazon Go stores may be able to use just a wave of their hands for cashless payments. 

The US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Amazon on Thursday for a touchless scanning system that would identify people by characteristics associated with the palms of their hands, including wrinkles and veins. The filing was first reported by Recode.

In the patent application, and as reported by Recode, the inventors describe “a scanner device [that] is used to obtain raw images of a user’s palm that is within a field of view of the scanner. ... The first set of images depict external characteristics, such as lines and creases in the user’s palm while the second set of images depict internal anatomical structures, such as veins, bones, soft tissue, or other structures beneath the epidermis of the skin.”  

The inventors also describe the placement of scanners at entrances or exits of a given location, and associating a scan with a person’s account so that “if the user picks an item from an inventory location and leaves the facility, their account may be billed for that item

An illustration associated with the patent application shows a person scanning their hand at an entrance gate that resembles the one found in Amazon Go stores. Click here for more. 

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