Amazon One-Your Palm For the Buy; Audi Cell to Everything Tech; Google Play- Android Apps Must Use Their Billing System; Algorithms & Diverse Data Hasn’t Helped Facial Recognition of Darker Skinned People

More fun with biometrics! Amazon has unveiled Amazon One, a system that lets your use your palm print to authenticate purchases, as well as gain access to gated locations like offices, gyms, and stadiums. Engadget.com reports that you will have to enroll at one of two (for now) Amazon Go stores. You insert your credit card, and follow on-screen instructions. Once the card and your hand are paired, you can use it to enter the stores by holding your hand over a terminal for a couple seconds. If it pans out, look for the feature at Whole Foods stores before long. With the coronavirus still haunting us, it’s nice that this is contactless…no laying your hand on a sensor and spreading your fingers…then having to plaster your hands with hand sanitizer!

Audi is working on their next generation ‘C-V2X’ tech, which stands for cellular vehicle to everything communications. According to CNET.com, they believe this could reduce crashes and save lives. The tech allows cars to ping other vehicles with cellular to avoid accidents, and if road workers wore vests with cellular transmitters embedded, the car could ‘see’ and avoid them, too. The system will work hand in hand with the existing Traffic Light Information and Green Light optimized Speed Advisory features already available in Audi cars. The idea of direct communication is that it is quicker and more responsive than spending a signal to the cloud and getting data back. As a bonus, the system can work in an area with limited or no cell service. The system is being tested out right now on highways and roads in Virginia.

Google will start requiring apps on the Play Store to start using its IAP billing system next year for in-app purchases. 9to5google.com says that, up to now, Netflix, Spotify, and other big services haven’t used Google billing…consumers directly enter their credit card info with that third party. The plus for Google, of course, is that they take a cut. Actually, this has always been the rule, as with Apple, but the big streaming services had been allowed to skate. 97% of apps already have been paying their figurative tithe to ‘The Google.’

Facial recognition models are till failing badly to recognize Black, Mid-Eastern, and Latins, at the rate they recognize folks with lighter skin. Venturebeat.com reports that a study at Wichita State University indicates that popular algorithms used on data sets with tens of thousands of facial images brought this result. An earlier paper from University of Colorado also summed up an investigation with similar results. For light skinned men and women, the algorithms were 95% accurate. For darker skinned folks, some of the models were WRONG 96% of the time. The programs also identified trans men as women 38% of the time. A lot of work needs to be done if tech is going to continue to try to use biometric like facial recognition to identify and unlock devices, log into websites, etc.



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