The New York Post reports that Amazon is in the process of developing and testing technology that will allow customers to pay at their Whole Foods chain with a simple wave of the hand. The biometric technology is different from the fingerprint technology currently found on smartphones and could drastically expedite check-out times at the multinational supermarket chain.
Customers would have to opt-in to the program by linking their hand to their customer profile and, ultimately, their form of payment. While current credit card processing payments currently take between three and four seconds, hand wave payment technology could process payments in as little as 300 milliseconds, according to the Post.
Although this would be a first for this kind of technology to be used in a retail setting for payment, the technology itself is not new. Hitachi has been developing this biometric technology for years, using it to identify and to transact on ATM machines in Japan as early as 1997. Similar technology is used in the US for simple tasks like gym check-in, controlling car functions and for sophisticated tasks like checking in airport personnel.
While there are concerns about security compromises and the implications if someone’s hand wave is compromised, proponents of the technology insist it’s more secure than both facial recognition and fingerprint technology.
Amazon has made no comment about the technology or whether it will actually appear in Whole Foods stores.