Wednesday, March 16, 2016 10:43 am
If applied, the new technology would enable customers to authenticate their payments by taking a selfie or a short video of themselves. Amazon’s facial recognition system would ensure the payer is the actual customer, not hackers, thieves or kids playing with the device.
The process would very much resemble the way a thumbprint replaces typing in a PIN code on a mobile device like an iPhone. The system would also require users to blink, smile or tilt their heads when taking the selfie so as to make sure the picture is of a living human being rather than a scan of a previously taken photo.
The relatively limited space on a touchscreen compared to a larger human finger plus the fact that people often will have to turn away from their friends when typing in the password are cited by Amazon in its recently-filed patent application as two examples of awkwardness of the old-fashioned password confirmation procedure.
However, the company didn’t seem to consider blinking, tilting heads or smiling in front of the public is awkward, nor did it provide an exact timeline for making the technology available.