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Amazon invents a way to pay by taking a selfie

by Jacob Kleinman | March 14, 2016March 14, 2016 2:00 pm PST

Amazon‘s latest invention could make it even easier to shop online. A new patent from the company details how you might one day be able to confirm your purchase with a quick selfie instead of typing in your password.

The feature described by Amazon sounds pretty simple. When you’re ready to make a purchase, the Amazon app would ask you to frame your face on the screen using the front-facing camera. The company would then use special facial recognition technology to make sure it’s you and confirm the purchase.

Amazon notes that typing in your password on a small screen every time you want to make a purchase can be difficult and annoying. As a result, plenty of people simply save their passwords to their personal device, but doing so could put you at risk if someone else gets their hands on your smartphone. Using a selfie makes it easy to quickly log into Amazon without sacrificing on security.

Of course, this is just a patent, and it may never become an actual feature. Then again, Amazon’s already demonstrated a strong interest in facial recognition. The company has filed similar patents in the past, and its Fire Phone packs four front-facing cameras for tracking your face. So we won’t be too surprised if Amazon rolls out a pay-with-selfie option in the near future.

USPTO Re/code

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...