Amazon is expanding its palm-scanning technology, Amazon One, for business use with the introduction of Amazon One Enterprise. This new service repurposes the palm-based payment system as an authentication tool for corporate environments, allowing employees to use their hand for secure entry to offices or access sensitive information like financial or HR records. Some companies that have already signed up for the biometric technology include IHG Hotels and Resorts, turnstile manufacturer Boon Edam, and Kone, an escalator and elevator provider.
The service is being positioned by Amazon as a cost-effective and more secure alternative for enterprises compared to traditional security measures like fobs, badges, or passwords. Dilip Kumar, a vice president overseeing Amazon Web Services Applications, highlighted the privacy and convenience offered by the palm-scanning technology for users.
Amazon One, initially introduced in 2020 as a biometric payment system, was designed for shoppers to pay for purchases by swiping their hand. It has been implemented in Whole Foods stores, some Go convenience marts, Fresh supermarkets, sports and entertainment venues, Panera Bread restaurants, and a few Starbucks locations. Despite its adoption, the technology has faced criticism from advocacy groups due to privacy and security concerns.
In response, Amazon has defended its palm recognition system, stating that it is more private than other biometric systems, as a person’s identity cannot be determined by looking at an image of their palm. The company asserts that it does not capture purchase data from scans collected by non-Amazon stores.
This move to repackage Amazon One for the enterprise aligns with the company’s strategy of extending its technologies into different domains. Earlier in the month, Amazon introduced “Astro for Business,” a business-focused version of its household robot, positioning it as a mobile security solution for businesses.