Google’s pilot app Hands Free was currently in its early stages of testing limited to only a handful of businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area.
What is Hands Free?
Hands Free is an app developed by Google that lets you check-out in stores without actually using your wallet or phone. This app was available to download for free on for android systems on Play Store and for iOS on Apple Store.
How does it work?
Hands Free uses Bluetooth, Wifi and location services to detect whether you are near a participating store. When you have bought the things you want and are ready to check-out, all you need to do is tell the cashier “I’ll pay with Google”. The hands free profile will contain your photo identity and signature using which the cashier will then confirm your identity. The cashier will charge you only when Hands Free detects your Phone is near the store. Thus there is no need for you to take out your phone or even launch the app!
Why is it being Shut Down?
Google’s innovative experiment got its life cut down short by the latest announcement of it being shut down on 8th of February this year by Google itself. Official statement released by Google states that from the first launching of the pilot program, they were able to collect and learn a lot about the possible effects of the app from its adopters. This information along with numerous positive feedbacks would be used to develop a better version of hands Free that would be available to a larger number of people and stores. To focus their efforts on the new Hand’s Free, the current pilot version is being shut down.
With that being said, there is no definite time as to when the improved Hands Free would be out so similar alternatives like “Android pay” which offers easy and quick check-outs can be used. All the user information like pictures and signatures uploaded would be deleted to uphold the privacy of the users. To keep in touch with the development and news related to Hands Free, you can provide your email to get updates.
Will Google give a brand new direction to the way people shop? The answer to that can be found when Hands Free is released yet again but this time with the full version. The promising results from the pilot experiment certainly yielded some beneficial results and it can be speculated that if Google decides to fully commit their efforts on delivering on the finished Hands Free app, it will be hugely popular. After all Google did promise to bring best of Hands Free technology to a wider audience base. As of now Hands Free has been shut down.