We’re always looking for ways to make our customers’ lives better, and one area where we’ve spent time innovating is the customer shopping experience in stores. Today, our physical retail team is excited to introduce a new innovation called Amazon One. Amazon One is a fast, convenient, contactless way for people to use their palm to make everyday activities like paying at a store, presenting a loyalty card, entering a location like a stadium, or badging into work more effortless. The service is designed to be highly secure and uses custom-built algorithms and hardware to create a person’s unique palm signature.
It’s fast and easy to sign up and use Amazon One, and we’re excited to hear feedback from customers as we begin to make it available as an option for them in a range of locations and for a variety of uses. We’ll start in select Amazon Go stores, where Amazon One will be added to the store’s entry gate as a convenient choice for customers to use to enter the store to shop. In most retail environments, Amazon One could become an alternate payment or loyalty card option with a device at the checkout counter next to a traditional point of sale system. Or, for entering a location like a stadium or badging into work, Amazon One could be part of an existing entry point to make accessing the location quicker and easier.
Starting today, customers can use Amazon One as an entry option at two of our Amazon Go stores in Seattle—our original Amazon Go store at 7th & Blanchard as well as our store in South Lake Union at 300 Boren Ave. North. It takes less than a minute to sign up at these Amazon Go stores using an Amazon One device. The first step is to insert your credit card. Next, hover your palm over the device and follow the prompts to associate that card with the unique palm signature being built for you by our computer vision technology in real time. You’ll have the option to enroll with just one palm or both. And that’s it—you’re now signed up. Once you’re enrolled, to use Amazon One to enter these Amazon Go stores, you’ll just hold your palm above the Amazon One device at entry for about a second or so, and be on your way. It’s that simple.
Beyond Amazon Go, we expect to add Amazon One as an option in additional Amazon stores in the coming months. And, we believe Amazon One has broad applicability beyond our retail stores, so we also plan to offer the service to third parties like retailers, stadiums, and office buildings so that more people can benefit from this ease and convenience in more places. Interested third parties can reach out through the email address provided on our Amazon One website.
Why did you create Amazon One?
As with everything Amazon does, we started with the customer experience and worked backwards. We solved for things that are durable and have stood the test of time but often cause friction or wasted time for customers. We wondered whether we could help improve experiences like paying at checkout, presenting a loyalty card, entering a location like a stadium, or even badging into work. So, we built Amazon One to offer just that—a quick, reliable, and secure way for people to identify themselves or authorize a transaction while moving seamlessly through their day.
Why did you pick palm recognition?
We selected palm recognition for a few important reasons. One reason was that palm recognition is considered more private than some biometric alternatives because you can’t determine a person’s identity by looking at an image of their palm. It also requires someone to make an intentional gesture by holding their palm over the device to use. And it’s contactless, which we think customers will appreciate, especially in current times. Ultimately, using a palm as a biometric identifier puts customers in control of when and where they use the service.
Is an Amazon account required?
We designed the signup experience to be fast and lightweight, and you don’t need an Amazon account to sign up or start using Amazon One—just a mobile phone number and credit card. But if you choose to use your Amazon account with Amazon One, you can log in on our website to securely manage your information and see your usage history.
What is the device actually scanning when it creates my unique palm signature?
When you hold your palm over the Amazon One device, the technology evaluates multiple aspects of your palm. No two palms are alike, so we analyze all these aspects with our vision technology and select the most distinct identifiers on your palm to create your palm signature.
How do you protect customer data?
At Amazon, nothing is more important to us than earning and maintaining customer trust. We take data security and privacy seriously, and any sensitive data is treated in accordance with our long-standing policies. With this in mind, we designed Amazon One to be highly secure. For example, the Amazon One device is protected by multiple security controls and palm images are never stored on the Amazon One device. Rather, the images are encrypted and sent to a highly secure area we custom-built in the cloud where we create your palm signature.
If I decide I don’t want to use Amazon One any more after signing up, can I delete my biometric data?
Yes, you can request to delete data associated with Amazon One through the device itself or via the online customer portal at one.amazon.com. We believe customers should always be in complete control of when and where they use the service, and we designed Amazon One with this in mind.
With this now available in select Amazon Go stores, does this change how I enter those stores?
We’re giving people the choice to shop at our stores when, where, and how it makes sense for them. At the two Seattle stores where we’re starting with Amazon One—our original Amazon Go store at 7th & Blanchard and our store in South Lake Union at 300 Boren Ave. North—you’ll continue having the option to enter the stores using the Amazon Go app, Amazon app, or with associate assistance if you want to pay in cash. Now, we’re adding the additional option for you to use Amazon One.
Do you have any third-party customers who plan to use Amazon One?
We’re excited to see Amazon One in more retail environments and are in active discussions with several potential customers, but beyond that, we’ll have to ask you to stay tuned.