I’ve been crazy about science fiction since I was a kid, and I’ve read a million books and have seen a ton of movies that theorize how we will pay for things in the future. I’ve seen eyeball scans, barcodes tattooed on hands, and even embedded credit cards that live under the skin in your hands. But this is the first time I’m seeing paying with the veins in your hand, and it’s not science fiction the PulseWallet is real.
Basically, the PulseWallet uses a biometric palm reader utilizing an infrared camera to scan your hand and your veins to process a payment (your palm ID will be connected to your credit card, of course). Biometric data is just as unique as a fingerprint (and apparently doesn’t change after age eight), and the image will be stored in the cloud making it possible for the verification to take less than a second to complete.
It sounds pretty creepy at first glance, but once you think about it, it’s really quite innovative. After all, who leaves the house without their hand? Exactly.
The idea of shooting light through your hands to share information isn’t new, of course; for decades now hospitals have used an infrared camera to monitor heart rate and blood oxygen levels with a simple device that clips onto your finger. Even the light on my iPhone can read my heartrate from my finger with a simple app. So the PulseWallet seems like a fairly logical next step, does it not?
The PulseWallet also is programmed to make it very easy to sign up; the first time you encounter a PulseWallet system you simply scan your hand, then swipe your card, and you’re done. You can now use your palm to pay for any purchase anywhere a PulseWallet is available.
The team behind PulseWallet are smart; they’ve designed an easy-to-use all in one payment processing center that includes a Windows tablet as well. This makes it very appealing for retail locations to utilize the system.
According to an article in Verge by Ellis Hamburger, the technology behind PulseWallet has been around for nine years.
“PalmSecure has been around since 2005, but it hasn’t found a home in many mass-market products aside from a few Fujitsu laptops. The technology has been adopted at scale, however, in countries like Italy and Brazil, where 35,000 ATMs use the technology to prevent fraud. But here in America, PalmSecure hasn’t caught on. Some hospitals use PalmSecure to identify patients, and some schools use it to help kids pay for lunch, but … nobody in America has ever tried it for mobile payments.”
Fascinating. What do you think? Would you use this system if you could?