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Contactless retail biometrics expanded and contact center voice authentication launched by Amazon

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Customers will soon be able to check into all Seattle Amazon Go stores using only their palm scan. Amazon is rolling out more of its Amazon One palm biometrics scanners as it integrates the devices in additional Seattle stores. The scanners, Amazon’s entry into the access control market first introduced in September 2020, will allow customers to check into Amazon Go retail stores via touch-free palm scanning.

The company introduced the new scanners as an alternative to their mobile app’s QR code, which was until recently the main method for checking into stores. With this latest roll-out, three more Seattle Amazon Go stores will feature the new devices. The Amazon Go store located at 1122 Madison Street already features the scanners, and two more locations, at 920 5th Avenue and 1906 Terry Avenue, are set to launch them in the coming weeks.

That will bring Amazon to a total of eight stores across Seattle with the biometric readers integrated. This initial phase tests the palm readers’ functionality for future large-scale implementation of the devices in office buildings and large venues such as sports arenas.

While Amazon’s palm biometrics initiative is meant to become a secure way to ease the check-in process, GeekWire also predicts that it might raise further privacy and security concerns. Amazon is already facing legal issues regarding biometric privacy in federal court.

New VoiceID promises easy and cost-efficient integration for contact centers

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has meanwhile introduced its own text-independent voice biometrics solution Amazon Connect VoiceID to meet the demand among call centers for voice authentication, writes Opus Research. The newest addition to the Amazon Connect platform promises to be an inexpensive and easy-to-implement alternative to third-party authentication solutions currently offered on it.

Users of Amazon’s cloud-based contact center Connect can now integrate voice biometrics thanks to Amazon’s new VoiceID API. The service provides vendors a low-cost option to authenticate users based on a unique voiceprint. Priced at a mere $0.025 per enrollment and authentication, VoiceID presents a viable voice authentication solution for vendors of any size.

Amazon Connect VoiceID is AWS’s in-house version that will compete with third-party voice biometrics solutions such as Auraya Systems, and Nomidio (selling Aculab), and UK-based provider VoiceKey already featured on its platform. According to an overview provided by Symnex Consulting, VoiceID can be easily integrated with a few steps through Amazon Connect’s graphical editor. The service is also promised to run seamlessly thanks to Connect’s updated Contact Center Control Panel.

VoiceID uses machine learning to authenticate callers based on a pre-recorded 30-second natural speech sample. As VoiceID is considered text-independent, a user does not need to utter any specific phrase to be authenticated. The solution then takes another 10-second sample every time a customer calls from thereon to compare it against the original 30-second voiceprint.

According to Opus Research, while this new microservice will likely be a suitable component for multi-factor authentication, it might not suffice as a single-factor authentication method.

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