New Tech Lets You Buy Stuff With Your Face

Imagine winking or nodding at a computer screen to pay for something. That’s pretty much the idea behind this Finnish startup.


Paying with a wave of your phone? Old school.

Finland-based startup Uniqul has developed technology that lets you shop without a wallet, a phone, a smartwatch — without anything in your hands or pockets.

If a store and local laws allowed it, you could:

  1. Walk in naked.
  2. Grab something off the shelf.
  3. Smile for the camera.
  4. Tap OK on a computer screen.
  5. Walk out.

Uniqul also envisions it being used as a way to instantly check into flights or pay for gas. The company calls it the “machine inspired by magic” in a silly video explaining how it works. (It’s in English.)

Uniqul is already placing terminals in the Helsinki area, Fast Company says. Your face can be linked to a variety of credit cards as well as PayPal and Square accounts, which are protected by “military-grade” encryption.

If it works as well as advertised, businesses could adopt it pretty quickly. “It’s likely to be free for merchants, while users pay a small stipend,” Fast Company says. This convenience would cost €6.99 (under $10) a month.

Sounds amazing, but also likely to exacerbate all the problems we discussed in Credit Cards Make You Fat and Dumb. What do you think? Would you pay $10 a month to walk around knowing you can buy stuff with empty pockets? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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