Shoppers in San Francisco’s South Bay area are being invited to take part in a pilot test of Hands Free, a voice-activated payment service developed by Google that uses a combination of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), WiFi and location services to let consumers make in-store payments without taking their mobile phone out of their pocket.
“While the pilot is still in early stages, we’ve come to a point where we’re ready to invite people in the South Bay to test Hands Free with us,” Google says. “Hands Free is currently available on Android and iOS devices and is rolling out to a small number of McDonald’s, Papa John’s and local eateries in the area.
“Once you’ve installed and set up the app, Hands Free uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), WiFi and location services on your phone to detect whether you’re near a participating store. When you’re ready to pay, you can simply tell the cashier, I’ll pay with Google. The cashier will ask for your initials and use the picture you added to your Hands Free profile to confirm your identity.
“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.”
“As an added thank you for testing Hands Free, we’re offering up to $5 off your first Hands Free purchase at participating stores,” Google adds. Plans to pilot the Hands Free payments service were unveiled by Google in June 2015.