CUSTOMERS OF Amazon-owned mung bean merchant Whole Foods could soon be able to hand over their money with a wave of their hand.
No, it's not contactless payment (as we know it, at least) but rather a hand recognition system known as Orville.
No really, it's called Orville. Our friends overseas probably won't understand why that's funny, but trust us, it's a hoot if you're British.
But we digress. According to the New York Post, Amazon has been developing the system which will recognise you by the shape, marks and veins of your hand, for a while now and is preparing to roll it out in its outlets.
Sources say that the system is already accurate to a ten-thousandth of a per cent, but engineers are continuing to refine it in the hope of hitting accuracy to a millionth of a per cent ahead of launch.
The system is said to be able to authorise payment in milliseconds, less even than a contactless payment and unlike Amazon Go, the company's experimental cashier-less supermarkets, it won't need you to have your phone with you.
As usual, Amazon staff are going to be human guinea pigs. The system is already operating in vending machines in the New York office.
The news comes as China begins experimenting with "pay with yo face" technology, which uses facial recognition to identify the payer, and has the added bonus of giving the feds a mugshot to add to your ever-growing file.
Currently, the plan is to have Orville up and running by the start of 2020 in selected stores, with a full rollout over the course of that year, subject to how easy it proves to set up and use.
Amazon has given the old ‘we don't comment on rumours or speculation' line when questioned, but given their ongoing position as the most pedantic company we deal with, we'll guarantee they'll have found something to complain about with this story by the time we go to bed tonight. μ
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