Amazon thinks passwords are on the outs, and the company has a vision for the future of authentication: Selfies.
The e-commerce giant recently filed a patent application for a two-step photo verification process for logging in to buy products online. At check out, the shopper would take a photo and verify his or her identity with face recognition software. Sounds easy to game, right? That’s where step two comes in.
Amazon would then prompt the user to take a second photo doing an action that proves “the person contained in the first image corresponds to a physical being in proximity of the computing device.”
Amazon wants to patent this technology to protect all of us “physical beings” from passwords. The company claims passwords aren’t user-friendly or secure and that they lead to awkwardness. With selfie authentication, Amazon says, you’ll never again offend friends and co-workers by rudely turning your device away to enter a password.
The patent application, originally reported by Re/Code, is associated with another Amazon patent for photo and video authentication. As Re/Code notes, Amazon competitor Alibaba may be working on similar technology.
Microsoft has already launched biometric authentication for Windows 10, through a system called Windows Hello that uses facial recognition technology and infrared scanning.