Google has announced that they will be shutting down Hands-Free, which was an experimental payment app that would allow you to pay for items by simply saying “I’ll pay with Google” to a cashier on February 8th.
The issue was not necessarily with the technology, as Google stated that they do plan to “bring the best of the Hands-Free technology to even more people and stores,” therefore this means we will most likely see the Hands-Free technology integrated into Google’s Android Pay.
Hands-free was meant to be a seamless way to streamline the purchasing process by cutting out the need to physically get out a card or interact directly with the cashier. The issue with this wasn’t the method but rather the platform, Google’s Android pay which is wildly successful has taken off but Hands-Free was only used in a couple of McDonald’s and Papa John’s in South Bay, CA.
While Google’s plan for a seamless shopping experience appears to be on hold while they shift the code over to Android pay, Amazon is going to launch its own cashier-less Amazon Go grocery store this year, which takes the same principle of Hands-Free, but it is truly a grab and go store!