Gadgets Magazine

Amazon Gets Hold of the Patent for “Selfie Payment”

Posted on the 18 March 2016 by Technogala @TechnoGala

Amazon is one of the leading retailers in the world and has been consistently making online shopping as easier hub for people to purchase their goodies. It has now been reported that the online retailer filed an application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office back in October for a process that would allow people to pay for goods by posing for a selfie using their smartphone in order to verify the purchase,rather than entering a password.

Amazon’s reasons for this technology are two-fold.

1. Cybersecurity. While many conventional approaches rely on password entry for user authentication, these passwords can be stolen or discovered by other persons who can impersonate the user for any of a variety of tasks, noting that people often choose short and simple passwords that can be easily hacked.

2. The entry of these passwords on portable devices is not user friendly in many cases, as the small touchscreen or keyboard elements can be difficult to accurately select using a relatively large human finger and can require the user to turn away from friends or co- workers when entering a password, which can be awkward or embarrassing in many situations.

How ever this move by amazon has certainly raised some brows as the patent application pointed out that the facial recognition technology could be tricked by holding a picture in front of the camera. For this it is supposed that Amazon may also prompt its users to blink, smile or tilt their head in order to authenticate their identity.

While this move is definitely appreciated it is to be noted that this is not the first time a company has come up with a new use for a front-facing camera. A few weeks ago, MasterCard had announced that after successful piloting a biometric payment method in California and Netherlands, it would roll it out to customers in the U.S., Canada and parts of Europe later this year. So even if Amazon gets hold of the patent the full credit may not totally belong to them.


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