In a new email being sent out to registered beta testers, Google has announced they’ll be shutting down their Hands Free payments system on February 8th. This is due to the company wanting to further focus their efforts on Android Pay rather other payment methods.
In case you’re not familiar with the payment method, Hands Free launched as a pilot test back in March of last year in a couple of stores in San Francisco. It used your phone’s data connection and low-energy Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect with a special register which featured a face scanner built-in. Once you went to pay, all you had to do was verify your identity with your face and boom, you just paid for stuff. This payment technology seems pretty useful if you’ve got your arms full or your phone’s deep in your purse (I’m looking at you, Mom), but it probably didn’t take off as Google planned, hence it’s shut down date of February 8th.
Here’s the full email being sent out to users, promising a $10 Whole Foods gift card if they make a payment with Android Pay.
Thank you for being among the first to try our Hands Free technology. Since launching the pilot last March, we’ve learned so much from you and our other early adopters.
Based on all the positive feedback, we’re now working to bring the best of the technology to even more people and stores. To focus our efforts, we’ll be shutting down the Hands Free app on February 8. You won’t be able to pay with Hands Free after that, so be sure to redeem any unused rewards before then.
In the meantime, we encourage you to start enjoying quick, easy checkout with Android Pay. If you set it up and try it at any store within the next 2 weeks, we’ll give you a $10 Whole Foods gift card.* The gift card will automatically appear in your Android Pay app within a week after your first purchase.
When the Hands Free app shuts down, your photo and settings will be permanently deleted to protect your privacy.
While we can’t share any more details about what’s next just yet, opt in to our email updates and we’ll keep you in the loop. If you have any questions, visit our FAQ.
The Hands Free Team
At this time, it’s unclear what Google’s technology developed for Hands Free will be used for, but as per the email above, we may soon find out.
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