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Amazon One palm print payment service is coming to more Whole Foods locations

Amazon’s palm scanning technology is expanding to 65 Whole Foods locations across California. The checkout devices were introduced in 2020 as part of the Amazon One payment service, allowing customers to pay with a scan of their palm. This is the biggest rollout by the company yet, with the first new Whole Foods locations adding support today in Malibu, Montana Avenue, and Santa Monica.

Customers can set up Amazon One by registering their palm print using a kiosk or at a point of sale station at participating stores. To register, you need to provide a payment card and phone number, agree to Amazon’s terms of service, and share an image of your palms. Once completed, you can take items to checkout and not have to take out your wallet — or even your phone — a hover of your hand over the device is all that’s needed to pay and leave.

The Amazon One rollout is part of the company’s campaign to change how customers interact at retail stores and runs alongside its Just Walk Out-enabled stores with technologies that make it faster to pay. Amazon One is designed to identify you accurately and allow you to pay at Amazon-owned stores, but the company is looking to expand the technology to outside businesses as well.

Several Whole Foods locations have already been testing the palm-scanning tech in the LA area, as well in Austin, Seattle, and New York. It’s also been available at the company’s Amazon Style store in Glendale, and at select Amazon Go and Fresh stores.

Amazon states that the images taken on the kiosk aren’t stored locally, instead they are encrypted and then sent to a cloud server that is dedicated for Amazon One where an identifiable palm signature is generated. My colleague James Vincent wrote more about how the technology works and its concerns in 2020.

Amazon has found success in convincing millions of customers to provide them with data in exchange for a more convenient lifestyle. Things like online shopping, grocery shopping, using Alexa, Ring smart cameras, doorbells, and now room-mapping robot vacuum cleaners are all areas that Amazon collects data in, and that will continue to be a concern to privacy advocates.

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Tech News

Finless Foods promises realistic plant-based tuna with 2022 rollout

A company called Finless Foods plans to launch a plant-based raw tuna product next year that it claims offers a realistic texture and flavor. The food product will join the largely beef- and sausage-flavored plant-based meat products currently on the market, offering consumers who have seafood allergies, vegetarians, and others the option to enjoy tuna meals without contributing to overfishing.

Finless Foods revealed that it will launch its plant-based tuna, which is made from nine ingredients, next year through foodservice channels and restaurants. The plant-based version of the tuna shouldn’t be confused with the company’s cell-cultured tuna product; the latter is made from cells harvested from real tuna fish while the former is made from whole plant-based ingredients.

For this reason, the plant-based version of Finless Foods’ tuna is vegan-friendly as none of the ingredients come from animals. The company says that it made the plant-based tuna to be a 1:1 ‘experience’ of eating raw tuna, at least when it comes to mouthfeel, flavor, and texture.

The plant-based version of the fish can be used in the same way as actual raw tuna, meaning you may consume it in sushi in the future. The big benefit to plant-based tuna is the lack of mercury, which remains a concern when it comes to wild tuna products.

As well, plant-based and cell-cultured tuna remove the fishing aspect of this food product, which has become an increasing concern from an environmental standpoint. Of course, the plant-based version of the tuna product will also be safe for people who have seafood allergies, whereas the cell-cultured version is actual tuna fish (just not from the ocean) and therefore wouldn’t be safe for people with allergies to eat.

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Tech News

Amazon is bringing palm-scanning payments to Whole Foods stores

If you live in Seattle, you’ll soon be able to pay for your groceries using the palm of your hand — literally. Amazon has announced plans to bring its Amazon One palm-scanning payment tech to several of its Seattle-area Whole Foods stores, enabling customers to register their payment card to their palm signature for contact-free checkouts.

Amazon introduced the Amazon One contactless palm payment system in September 2020. The platform involves a device that can be used to register on the Amazon One system and to scan one’s palm when entering and/or exiting a facility. According to Amazon, users register by inserting their payment card into the machine, then hovering their hand over the sensor.

The scanner works with computer vision tech to generate a unique palm signature for the customer, which is then associated with the credit card. Customers will be able to register one or both of their palms. Users don’t need an Amazon account to register with Amazon One, but will need a phone number in addition to their payment card.

The company had said at the time that it planned to roll out Amazon One at more of its stores in the future, and now that time has come. In its latest update, Amazon said that it will deploy the palm-scanning payment system in several Seattle Whole Foods stores ‘over the coming months.’ One store — the Whole Foods destination on Madison Broadway — already has the tech in place.

Assuming you register with the system, you’ll be able to pay for your items at these stores by hovering your palm over the scanner. There’s the option of linking your Amazon One registration with an Amazon account in order to get the related Prime discounts in-store.

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