Amazon continues its relentless quest to improve the user experience for anyone buying anything anywhere with the announcement that ticketing company AXS will deploy Amazon One palm readers at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, CO. Amazon made news recently when it deployed its grab-n-go cashierless technology at two full-size Whole Foods locations, where arrays of cameras and sensors track basket contents and allow shoppers to skip the checkout at the end of their shopping trip. While the grab-n-go aspect of the technology stole the headlines, less talked about is the Amazon One palm reading technology that uses biometric algorithms to verify payment transactions based on a scan of your palm.
Consumers use the Amazon One kiosks to complete a scan of one or both of their palms, which is then stored as a digital signature, and in this application linked to their AXS Mobile ID. Customers can attend subsequent shows by simply hovering their palm over the reader for admission to the venue.
“We are proud to work with Amazon to continue shaping the future of ticketing through cutting-edge innovation,” said Bryan Perez, CEO of AXS, in a statement. “We are also excited to bring Amazon One to our clients and the industry at a time when there is a need for fast, convenient, and contactless ticketing solutions. At AXS, we are continually deploying new technologies to develop secure and smarter ticketing offerings that improve the fan experience before, during, and after events,” he added.
The last serious attempt at scaling a biometric payment system was in 2003 by Pay By Touch, a silicon valley start up that developed a thumbprint reader that they deployed in over 3000 locations before folding their operations. In addition to challenges with the technology, the business model struggled to become profitable since neither businesses nor consumers would pay a fee to use biometric payments as an alternative to existing payment methods. In that context, it’s unlikely that ApplePay or any other e-wallet would be profitable as a stand-alone company either.
Unlike e-wallets, Amazon One doesn’t require your phone or other device to communicate your credentials to the reader, simply hovering your palm over the reader is all that’s needed to activate your linked payment credentials. This technology could easily replace NFC and improve throughput at venue concession stands, amusement parks, stadia, and other applications once the technology matures. No word yet on what these palm readers might cost once in full production.
Overview by Don Apgar, Director, Merchant Services Advisory Practice at Mercator Advisory Group
Photo Credit: Amazon.