Google’s Hands Free program, which allowed beta testers of the service in San Francisco to make payments at select locations, is being shut down. Google said the service will officially stop working on February 8, but that the technology will live on through future Google products.
Hands Free was announced last March, which means it won’t even live to see its first birthday, and it allowed folks to enter certain establishments and pay without ever reaching for a wallet or smartphone. Instead, the technology was able to verify you using a profile picture you’d already previously uploaded to the service and the payment would be executed through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi on your smartphone.
Hands Free in Android Pay?
Google said that we can expect more from the program, even if the Hands Free app is being shut down. “Based on all the positive feedback, we’re now working to bring the best of the Hands Free technology to even more people and stores,” Google said. “While we can’t share any more details about what’s next just yet, we encourage you to enjoy quick, easy checkout with Android Pay.”
My guess is this means that we’re going to see the features rolled into Android Pay, which would help make it a more appealing service over very similar alternatives like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Perhaps we’ll learn more during Google IO 2017 later this year.