Amazon has introduced new palm recognition technology called “Amazon One” in a pair of Seattle stores and sees broader uses in places like stadiums and offices.

Customers at the stores near Amazon’s campus in Washington can flash a palm for entry and to buy goods. (And don’t forget – Amazon is planning to open a new retail store at Crabtree Valley Mall in the near future. “Coming soon,” Amazon says.)

The company chose palm recognition, according to Dilip Kumar, vice president of Physical Retail & Technology, because it’s more private than other biometric technology, and a person would be required to purposefully flash a palm at the Amazon One device to engage.

“And it’s contactless, which we think customers will appreciate, especially in current times,” Kumar wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

Amazon palm reader in an Amazon photo.

The company expects to roll out Amazon One as an option in other Amazon stores in the coming months, which could mean Whole Foods Market grocery stores. But Amazon believes the technology is applicable elsewhere.

“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,” Kumar wrote. “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.”

People can sign up for an Amazon One account with a mobile phone number and credit card. An Amazon account isn’t necessary.

FAQ about the new tech

Source: Amazon

  • 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 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.