Many of us are still adjusting to life with the convenience of Android Pay (Google is quick to point out that Android Pay isn’t going anywhere.), but Google is always looking to the future, and South Bay residents can get an early glimpse by joining a pilot program for Google’s new payment app Hands Free.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard about Hands Free, but it has been close to year since Google first announced the project, so they’ll forgive you for not remembering it.
As the name suggests, the app frees you from having to produce anything to make your payment; you just walk up to the cashier at a supported location (a limited number of McDonald’s, Papa John’s and local South Bay spots at the moment) and say “I’ll pay with Google.” The app is working in the background via Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi and location services to detect that you are in a participating store.
You will need to provide your initials to the cashier and they will refer to the picture that you added to Hands Free during setup to confirm your identity. An even more limited number of locations will feature in-store cameras that will attempt to automatically match you to your Hands Free profile picture and streamline the checkout process even further.
While we are still getting over the hump of Android Pay being available in enough locations to make its use seamless and easy, Hands Free certainly sounds like a logical evolution for mobile payments. I won’t hold my breath for this to hit wide rollout in the next year or two, but I’ll be surprised if this isn’t a reality in 5-10 years.
The app is available for both Android and iOS, and Google will give you a $5 discount on your first Hands Free purchase. Hit the link below for more info and to sign up for the pilot program if you are in the South Bay area.