In a move that raises considerable privacy concerns and fears over this type of invasive technology becoming prevalent, Keyo has launched the Wave+ handheld palm vein scanner, a device that extends biometric identification into numerous aspects of our daily lives including payments, access control, and ticketing.
This encroachment comes amidst a rapid growth of the market for specialized biometric devices, raising further apprehensions about a dystopian, privacy-compromised future.
The Wave+ touts a smartphone-sized screen and promises SOC2-compliant data protection. However, the widespread adoption of such technologies raises significant questions about privacy and the potential misuse of biometric data. Although Keyo asserts that the device, which can be handheld or mounted on a wall or countertop, can support billions of users, such a large-scale application inevitably amplifies the privacy risks involved.
Keyo’s strategy to ease the adoption of palm vein biometrics includes the provision of no-code integration tools. This seems to encourage an uncritical acceptance of this invasive technology across businesses, regardless of their technical expertise.
The company posits a wide array of adopters for the Wave+ device, including retail stores, offices, hospitals, stadiums, resorts, and airports. Such a broad application hints at the pervasive nature of the technology, leaving little room for individuals to opt-out of having their biometric data captured and potentially stored.
The Wave+ is an iteration of the original Wave device, a desktop palm vein biometrics scanner launched in late 2022. While the CEO of Keyo, Jaxon Klein, views the Wave+ as a “game changer”, the device appears to push the boundaries of privacy rights and poses considerable ethical questions.
Keyo, founded in 2015, has reportedly deployed more than 20,000 such devices around the world, highlighting the accelerated pace at which biometric surveillance is being normalized.