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Amazon seeks patent for ‘selfie’ based payment system

RBR Staff Writer Published 16 March 2016

Online retailer Amazon has filed a patent application for technology which would facilitate customers to make payments for items by taking a selfie.

amazon selfie

In the patent filing, the company has stated that the move is intended to improve web security and minimizing the chances of hacking, as it undertakes several tasks online.

In its submission to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Amazon stated: "While many conventional approaches rely on password entry for user authentication, these passwords can be stolen or discovered by other persons who can impersonate the user for any of a variety of tasks.

"Further, the entry of these passwords on portable devices is not user friendly in many cases, as the small touchscreen or keyboard elements can be difficult to accurately select using a relatively large human finger, and can require the user to turn away from friends or co-workers when entering a password, which can be awkward or embarrassing in many situations."

The online retailer firm also said that the shortcuts for remembering passwords which include saving them on a device, also made them susceptible to hackers.

"In order to avoid typing in long passwords in such situations, users often have their passwords stored on their devices or enable information to be stored elsewhere such that an activity can be performed without manually re-entering the password.

"When using such an approach, however, another person having access to that device can impersonate the user for any task associated with the store password."

Amazon believes that its two-photo selfie pay system is secure than other processes which rely on facial recognition as they could be morphed by holding the user's picture in front of the camera, as a two-dimensional image could look similar to that of the user.

The users of the technology would have to take two photos of self. The first photo will be used to prove their identity and the second one would prove their physical being by movements such as smiling, blinking or movement of the head.

Although the patent was filed in October 2015, the publication appeared in the US Patent and Trademark Office website recently.

Image: Amazon seeks to introduce 'selfie' pay system. Photo: Courtesy of alexisdc/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.