Google, Google Cloud

Tech giants like Google and Apple have been trying to make payment techniques as simple and as less clunky as possible for a while now. While apps like Android and Apple Pay simplified the payment modes by a great deal, they still require you to remove your phone from your pocket and authenticate the transaction. Google is hoping to fix this problem with its latest experiment.

The company announced on Wednesday that it is rolling out a pilot program that introduces a new way to pay cashiers. The service is called Hands Free and it allows you to make payments without removing your phone from your pocket.

The service is launching in a pilot in the Southern San Francisco Bay Area today, the company said. Google also says that this pilot program aims to collect user feedback. The program has been set up in a few stores and pilot locations for McDonald’s and Papa John’s scattered across town.

According to the web giant, since its launch, Android Pay has received a consistent average of 1.5 million new registrations each month in the US alone. Another Did-You-Know fact about the service is that there are over 2 million locations that accept tap and pay.

There was previously a similar service introduced by Square which used some geofencing technology to enable contact-free payment. While the service didn’t do that well in the market then, it seems to be what Google derived inspiration from.

Hands Free uses Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi and location services which will determine whether you’re near a participating store. Once your done shopping, you can simply voice out to the cashier, “I’ll pay with Google,” which will then ask for your initials and use your picture on Google to confirm your identity. And you’re done!

In a few stores, the company has even gone one step further. Here’s what the blog post announcing the service reads:

“At select stores, we’re also in the early stages of experimenting with visual identification so that you can breeze through checkout even faster. This process uses an in-store camera to automatically confirm your identity based on your Hands Free profile picture. All images captured by the Hands Free camera are deleted immediately.”

While there are many hurdles that the company has to jump in order to make Hands Free globally acceptable, Google seems to be pretty optimistic about the whole affair.

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