April 24, 2024

Google ending Hands Free pilot on February 8


Remember Google Hands Free? The payment service entered a pilot phase last year, and now that test is coming to an end.

Google is officially ceasing the Hands Free pilot that it was running in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company hasn’t revealed anything about what’s coming next, but it does confirm that it’s “shutting down the Hands Free app on February 8.” Google also says that users should check out Android Pay.

If you don’t remember Hands Free, it’s a mobile payment service that uses a combination of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, location services, and other sensors to detect when you’re at a shop that supports Hands Free. If you are, you can simply tell the cashier “I’ll pay with Google,” and they’ll confirm your identity using your initials and Hands Free profile photo. The whole point was to allow you to pay for things without having to touch your phone.

Because the Hands Free pilot was limited to the Bay Area, most of us probably didn’t get to try it. Google does say that it’s “working to bring the best of the Hands Free technology to even more people and stores,” though, so perhaps we’ll see the tech baked into Android Pay in the future and more people will get to pay for something without having to reach for our smartphone.

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