Amazon is making it easier and safer to make a purchase online.
Recently, the Seattle-based company has filed a patent application for a technology that will soon allow its customers to pay by taking a selfie as opposed to keying a password into the app every now and then.
How this pay-by-selfie technology works is simple. As soon as you are ready to buy a particular item, the Amazon app will ask you to take a photo or video of yourself. The app will then employ the special facial recognition technology to make certain that it's really you who are making the purchase and not an imposter.
"The process identifies the user and verifies that the user requesting the transaction is a living human being," says the abstract of Amazon's patent application. "The user is identified using image information which is processed utilizing facial recognition."
Amazon adds that the process will prompt consumers to carry out particular actions, gestures or motions to confirm the transaction, for example, to blink, tilt their head or smile.
"[This] causes the transaction to be performed after verifying performance of the action by the identified user," it says.
It cannot be denied that typing your password, especially on a small screen, can be a bit knotty. This situation triggers quite a few consumers to just save their passwords into their device. However, doing so could be risky, for instance, when anyone else gets access to your device without consent. This particular scenario makes the new pay-by-selfie option of Amazon advantageous.
Google is also baking a similar technology in a bid to make shopping easier and more secure. It is currently experimenting its Hands Free Payment, enabling users to pay for items with the use of their initials and their face.
The Mountain View-based firm says it is in its early stages of testing the visual identification system to aid in checking out faster. The system will confirm the identity of consumers based on their profile picture on the app using the in-store camera. The company says the captured images are instantly erased from the system.
Note, though, that having applied for a patent does not guarantee that Amazon will have its concept materalized soon. However, it's good to see what the company has in mind at the moment.