business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Pay by selfie?


Re/code reports that Amazon - naturally - recently "filed a patent application for a process that would allow shoppers to make a purchase by taking a photo and/or video of themselves rather than keying in their account password. The application is related to a separate patent Amazon holds for a technology that allows a device to authenticate a user via a photo or video, but not necessarily to complete a transaction."

The story goes on to say that "under the scenario in the patent application, a phone or computer 'can prompt the user to perform certain actions, motions, or gestures, such as to smile, blink, or tilt his or her head.' This would be done to prove that the shopper is who he or she says, rather than an imposter simply holding up a photo of the shopper."

While the phrase "pay by selfie" may first inspire howls of laughter and/or eye-rolling, I have to say that I've pretty much given up being skeptical about Amazon's various Eye-Opening initiatives. (I felt that way about drones. It seems pretty obvious that I was wrong about that.)

There's no reason for me to think this can't work, or that it won't work.

I just hope I get to show my best side. If I have one.
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