We’re living in a time now where every piece of tech we’ve seen in sci-fi movies has the capability of being created and actually used for the betterment (or perhaps devolution) of humankind. One of those technologies people might fear as a “1984” type of scenario is the ability to scan certain parts of our body to be part of a collective in consumerism. The very emblem of the far-off future for some is envisioning the ability to scan our eyes, our hands, or even our brain to assure our identities.
Because privacy is at such a critical crossroads right now, it seems scanning our bodies is the only way to prove it’s us and not someone usurping our identity. And with credit cards becoming one of those major concerns, one company now lets you scan your hand to let you pay for things in stores so there’s no question of who you are.
Called BiYo, this company was previously called Pulse Wallet, which may have explained how it works better than the new title. They’ve developed a technology that scans the veins in your hand as the equivalent of identifying your identity through a fingerprint.
They’re providing this service not only for customers, but also businesses by use of BiYo’s specialized scanning device. It’s something that might look invasive at first, even if the intention is to prevent another Target security breach from happening in every store.
How the Technology Works
BiYo provides their specialized scanners to any business, and customers have to go through one setup system to initialize the hand scanning. You’ll have to scan your regular credit or debit card first and then scan your hand (palm down) so the scanner captures the image of your veins. Once the setup is done, you can simply pay by swiping your hand over the scanner every time you visit this individual store. You can do the same at any store that owns one of the BiYo scanners.
In the age of mobile, you probably guessed that you can also look in on a BiYo database to keep track of your budget. You’ll be able to review all your transactions and keep track of any loyalty points while you’re on the go.
The only question is whether stores will want to invest in these scanners. Plus, the bigger question is whether customers will want to use this technology when it seems so close to a futuristic vision we fear.
Can We Reconcile the Fear of the Future with What’s Needed?
It may feel like we’re living in a “Twilight Zone” world lately when we love the technology we have, yet feel like we’re on a slippery slope. Is there really any danger in scanning our hands to pay for things, or will it feel like we’re part of a near apocalyptic vision of the future? For the sake of security, identifying our unique DNA may be the only thing that truly saves us from a real apocalypse of everyone’s security being compromised.
You can also give points to convenience when paying for things in stores can sometimes be a pain. Being able to scan your hand and just go without needing codes or receipts is probably going to sell more people than how disturbing it initially looks.
Businesses are possibly going to like it as well because it gives convenience to customers and lets them buy items without hassles. We’ll see whether BiYo becomes a household name in another few years as other body scan technology likely comes to the fore. Don’t be surprised to see credit cards go away by the next decade as the world population tires of living with hackers meddling into our lives every hour of the day.