No cash or card needed. Two stores located on a remote college in western South Dakota have started taking payment from fingerprint swipes.
Technically, the shops at the School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City are using a new biocryptology program, which combines biometrics — the measurement of physical traits for identification purposes — with cryptology — the encoding of private information, according to a report by The Associated Press.
With the swipe of a finger over a keypad, students can now buy a bag of chips or a bottle of soda, AP reports. The pad measures hemoglobin levels, AP reports.
Purchasers also have to type their birthdate into the keypad, AP says.
Researchers say the technology is safer than biometrics and existing digital fingerprint scanners because it actually checks for a pulse, according to AP.
Even privacy advocates and civil rights activists see this new technology as a possibility.
Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union, said that while "any security measure can be defeated," the pulse-testing technology is a solid and viable possibility that adds a layer of protection, AP said.
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