Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is a hand scanner.

Amazon is looking to create checkout terminals that would allow shoppers to pay for items with a wave, said AnnaMaria Andriotis at The Wall Street Journal. The retail giant "recently filed a patent application for what it described as a 'noncontact biometric identification system' that includes a 'hand scanner,'" potentially letting shoppers link their credit card to the palm of their hand.

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"Customers might insert credit cards into a terminal and then allow the terminal to scan their hands. From then on, they would only need to place a hand over the terminal to pay." Amazon has already been experimenting with cashierless shopping at its Amazon Go stores and could "leapfrog mobile wallets such as Apple Pay" if the hand-scanning technology succeeds.