Amazon has filed a patent that will let the company authenticate the user with the front camera commonly used for taking selfies, according to a report on Recode .
The patent aims to make the payment procedure more secure by using a combination of facial and gesture recognition. Facial recognition uses the camera to match your features to a previously stored image photo of your face. While this technology has been known to be easily fooled by holding a printed photograph of the face, adding an extra layer of gesture recognition takes care of that flaw.
Gesture recognition can tell the difference between smiles and winks. So, Amazon plans to use facial recognition to first make sure that it is the person who owns the account that wants to make a purchase, and then gestures to tell if it’s the real person or their photograph held against the camera.
Justifying the need for a system such a system, Amazon wrote, “While many conventional approaches rely on password entry for user authentication, these passwords can be stolen. 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.”
“A computing device might capture an image of a user and analyze that image to attempt to recognize the user using facial recognition software. Such a process provides only a certain level of additional protection, however, as the facial recognition process can often be spoofed by holding a picture of the user in front of the camera, as the resulting two-dimensional image can look substantially the same whether taken of the user or a picture of the user.”
Amazon might be setting the tone for future of payment method of the future but Alibaba and MasterCard already seem to have a lead with a facial recognition payment method already being tested.