Google Hands Free pilot coming to an end
Last year, Google began testing a hands free, touch-less payment system by which consumers only had to tell a clerk, they’d like to “pay with Google”. And as of February 8, 2017, that pilot program will be discontinued.
Hands Free, as the program was called, leveraged beacon-like location sensors, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to identify the enabled customers as they entered the store. Synced with the customer’s Android account and the store’s POS system, the merchant would then be able to authenticate using a profile picture and the customer’s initials.
It should also be noted that just because Google is terminating the pilot, that does not mean we’ve seen the end of the Hands Free technology. There are a number of other applications this technology can be used for.
Google Hands Free is one of a few tech giant-sponsored projects aimed at making retail and payments more frictionless and convenient for consumers. Just last December, Amazon announced its Amazon Go program, which eliminates the need for the checkout counter altogether.