Amazon may soon allow shoppers to complete transactions with selfie

According to a Re/Code report, online retail giant Amazon filed a patent application for a new technology last Thursday. The technology will enable online shoppers to complete a transaction with a selfie or a video of themselves.

Going by the description in the patent application, the technology which Amazon wants to patent involves the use of a camera for identifying a user with the help of facial recognition, and subsequently verifying that the user is "a living human being" by asking him/her to blink, smile or perform any other action.

Amazon said that the use of facial recognition technology to identify a user completing a transaction will essentially add an extra level of security; thereby ensuring that the electronic system is not being duped by somebody holding up a photo of a user.

The patent basically highlights the fact that improved security is required around electronic systems which enable people to purchase items with a mere click. The use of facial recognition will potentially make it difficult for hackers and cybercriminals to misuse someone's Amazon account by getting hold of the person's password to the account.

In its patent application, Amazon has asserted that the entry of passwords on most of the mobile devices - including smartphones and tablets - is not a user-friendly mechanism, as it could "require the user to turn away from friends or co-workers when entering a password, which can be awkward or embarrassing in many situations."