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04/19/2022

Amazon Adding Palm Recognition Tech to Austin-area Whole Foods Markets

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
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Amazon is bringing its Amazon One palm recognition technology to all Whole Foods Market stores in the Austin, TX, area.

The Arbor Trails store is the first Whole Foods Market location in the area to introduce the touchless payment option, which enables shoppers to pay with just a scan of their palm. Austin is the first region outside the Seattle area where Whole Foods Market is offering Amazon One as a payment option.

“We are excited to introduce Amazon One as an option for our Austin-area Whole Foods Market customers,” said Leandro Balbinot, chief technology officer and SVP, Whole Foods Market. “We are always looking for new ways to satisfy and delight our customers and offer convenient options to improve the shopping experience.” 

In addition to the first store location at Arbor Trails, Amazon One is planned to be added to all seven Whole Foods Market locations in the Austin area in the coming weeks. This includes Whole Foods Market stores at Domain, East Austin, Lamar, Gateway, Bee Cave and Cedar Park.

Once customers are signed up for the service, they can use their palm to enter, identify, and pay. Customers hover their palm using Amazon One to enter the store. When someone holds a palm over the Amazon One device, the technology evaluates multiple aspects of that 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,” Amazon said. When done shopping, the customer exits the store using the same method used for entry. Later, the store will send a digital receipt and charge the associated Amazon account.

Amazon claims safeguarding customer privacy is a foundational design principle for Amazon One and the 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 Amazon custom-built for Amazon One in the cloud where the company creates shoppers’ palm signatures.

“Amazon One is all about making everyday activities, like paying at a store, easier and more convenient for customers,” said Thi Luu, director of product management, Amazon Physical Retail Technology. “By signing up for Amazon One with a credit or debit card, customers have the option to simply pay with their palm and get through check out faster. We built Amazon One to offer a quick, reliable, and secure way for people to identify themselves or authorize a transaction while moving seamlessly through their day.” 

Amazon began rolling out the biometric technology to Amazon Go stores in 2020, allowing shoppers to pay via their palms. It added the technology to its first Whole Foods Market store in 2021. Earlier this month, Amazon Fresh opened its first grocery store in Fairfax, VA, the first Amazon Fresh location in the area to offer Just Walk Out Shopping, which includes the option to skip the checkout line via the Amazon One palm tech.