Update: Google has announced that it is beginning its limited trial of Hands Free payments in San Francisco. Here’s to hoping that it goes well so that it spreads to more locations.
They say that money talks, but soon you’ll be able to literally speak to pay for things, thanks to Google’s upcoming hands-free payment technology.
Later this year, Google will be testing a smartphone app that allows users to make purchases at specific stores by simply standing in front of a compatible cash register, and letting the cashier know that they want to pay with Google.
A Bluetooth sensor will then detect the app on the user’s phone, automatically billing them and sending them a receipt of the transaction in the process.
The technology sounds quite similar to PayPal Beacon, which was announced in 2013 and also allows customers to pay for items without taking out their phones or wallets.
Google plans to test this experimental payment method in the San Francisco Bay Area at McDonald’s and Papa John restaurants, though we’ll have to wait a while until the app is available to the general public.
As this is an experiment, details are sketchy on how it will all work in practice, such as what would happen with several hands-free payment users in the vicinity of a register, or whether any further identification will be required to make purchases.
Watch Google’s hilarious announcement video below, which plays like a ridiculous late ’90s infomercial, complete with frustrated customers struggling to open their own wallets.