Google Trialling Hands Free Payments in Bay Area

google hands freeGoogle clearly isnt resting on its laurels following the announcement of Android Pay at last weeks Google I/O, with the news that the search giant is to begin trialling a hands-free payment system in the Bay Area that will enable people to pay with voice commands.

Very few details are available so far on the project, but according to the website set up for the project, Hands Free will be a new app that enables users to make payments without even reaching for their phones or wallets.

It will be rolled out to selected stores in the San Francisco Bay Area later this year, with McDonalds and Papa Johns among the merchants to take part, judging by the presence of their logos on the site.

The system will use similar security measures to Android Pay, so that full card details are not shared with stores, and users will receive a notification on their phone following payments so they can track their spending, and will also get alerts if any unusual spending activity is detected.

The system was briefly touched on at Google I/O during a session by Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president of ads & commerce for Google, who described the project as being in “early prototype stage.”

“We wanted to ask ourselves could we create payments schemes that dont require you to take your phone out,” said Ramaswamy.

The actual technology and processes involved are still under wraps, but will involve users making a voice command which can be picked up by Android phones, even if they are in pockets or bags, followed by the cashier pressing a button on the store terminal to process the payment.