Google ends its Hands Free mobile payment pilot after less than a year, but promises more to come

That’s kind of the thing about pilot programs – they don’t always result in a successful launch. Less than a year after beginning testing at select locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Google is pulling the plug on its Hands Free payment system. The company notified users of the unceremonious wind down via email and a notification on its site.

A week from yesterday, the program will be shut down and all settings associated with it will be deleted. That doesn’t mean, however, that it was all for naught. The company is quick to point out that it has learned some valuable lessons from the testing.

“Based on all the positive feedback,” Google writes, “we’re now working to bring the best of the Hands Free technology to even more people and stores.” What that actually means has yet to be determined. The company is quick to add that it “can’t share any more details about what’s next just yet,” but encourages that users hop on board with Android Pay.

9to5Google, which first spotted the shut down, notes that the company may be shifting those lessons learned to the company’s primary payment system, though the jury’s out about whether the ability to pay without pulling out a phone will be implemented directly.

It’s also worth noting that the company is said to be looking at some Hands Free payment-style options for its Android Wear devices, with Pay becoming a key part of the smartwatch OS.