TIME Sports

U.S. Soccer Will Vote Against Sepp Blatter in FIFA Ballot

Sepp Blatter's sole rival is Jordan's Prince Ali Bin Hussein

The United States will not favor another term for FIFA President Sepp Blatter during Friday’s election, the president of U.S. Soccer acknowledged Thursday, instead casting a ballot for the embattled incumbent’s sole rival after seven top executives were arrested this week on corruption charges.

Sunil Gulati told the New York Times in an interview that the U.S. delegate would vote for Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Hussein, who is not expected to succeed in the vote involving 209 member nations. Gulati said he made the decision to vote against Blatter months ago, but this week’s arrests confirmed his decision.

“Would I like to see the United States host a World Cup in the future?” he asked. “The answer is, of course, yes. But for me, and for U.S. soccer, better governance and more integrity at Concacaf and FIFA are far more important than hosting any international soccer tournament.”

[New York Times]

Read next: Meet the Prince Who Wants to Save Soccer

Meet the Man Transforming Journalism in Turkey

Frustrated at established media outlets, Engin Onder took to Twitter to create a citizen journalism organization

On Dec. 28, 2011 two Turkish fighter jets flying near the Iraqi border dropped bombs on what they believed to be a column of militants belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Kurdish separatist group. Thirty-four people died in the attack. When witnesses arrived at the scene they discovered that the dead were villagers, not fighters. Some were as young as 12 or 13. The group had been smuggling fuel and cigarettes into Turkey.

Engin Onder, a student living in Istanbul, was appalled at the coverage. For hours, Turkey’s main news channels did not report the bombing. Onder relied on Twitter and Instagram to follow the story.

Onder believed that the established media companies were subject to government censorship and were compromised by its own business interests and therefore could not be counted on to deliver hard-hitting news. (Reporters Without Borders, a media watchdog, ranks Turkey 149th among 180 countries in its 2015 press freedom index.) So a couple of weeks after the bombing Onder, along with two other college friends, Cem Aydoğdu and Safa Soydan, decided to launch a Twitter account they named 140journos. Their plan: to produce news that went unreported by the Turkish press.

When the group started live-tweeting a series of politically controversial trials in early 2012, a few Turkish academics took notice. “They said we were doing an organized practice of citizen journalism,” says Onder. “The first thing we did was to look up what that meant. None of us were journalists.”

Onder, who is now 23, decided to grow 140journos from the ground up, soliciting, verifying and disseminating news from volunteers across the country. At first, the results were discouraging. “We couldn’t expand our network,” he says.

Then came the Gezi Park protests. What began in late May 2013 as a sit-in against the demolition of an Istanbul park soon swelled into a storm of anti-government protests in dozens of cities. Much of the Turkish news media once again looked the other way.

For Onder’s group, Gezi became an “overnight revolution,” as he puts it. Tens of thousands of Turks turned to alternative news sources, including 140journos. “In a day, everyone became a citizen journalist,” says Onder. By the time the protests fizzled out in mid-June, the group’s Twitter following had increased from 8,000 to 30,000. Its contributors, all volunteers, have since transformed from a circle of friends into a community of 250 people across the country.

Engin Onder
Monique Jaques for TIME

Today, ahead of a hotly contested parliamentary election set for June 7, Onder is working on what he believes to be the next frontier in citizen journalism—real-time mapping. On the day of the vote, he and his team plan to pool local results, data from previous elections, and claims of ballot box fraud, all of them gleaned from official sources, tweets, and reports on the ground. The team will then feed them into an interactive map posted on the group’s website. Onder intends the map to be a real-time and transparent account of the election.

Zeynep Tufekci, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, has been impressed by Onder’s work from the start. “They certainly performed better [at reporting on the Gezi protests], and with much, much greater accuracy, than any mass media outlet,” she says.

Where Onder has led, others have followed. In the fall of 2013, amid protests in his Istanbul neighborhood, Can Puruzsuz, 22, began flooding 140journos with tweets and photos. He met Onder in person a month later. As an aspiring historian, he says, he was excited by the group’s commitment to neutral language and attention to detail. “It’s a lot of responsibility,” he says. “They’re writing a history of the present.”

Next Generation Leaders

This Former Photojournalist Is Helping Kenyans Find Their Voices

Boniface Mwangi gave up photography so that he could stimulate political discussion through protest art

Boniface Mwangi is stretched out on his sofa with one arm flung over his eyes. He is snoring. The former photojournalist turned social activist has a lot on his plate and he’s grabbing some sleep while he can. Mwangi has not only been preparing for an impending visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to his artists’ collective in central Nairobi, he also has an upcoming photo competition to judge, calls from the competition’s sponsor Canon to field and graffiti artists seeking counsel for their next political action.

The swirl of activity may exhaust Mwangi, 31, but it’s all of his own making. In 2008, Mwangi was working as a photojournalist and earned international accolades for his coverage of Kenya’s violent postelection riots, but almost as soon as he found success as a photographer, Mwangi felt frustrated: documenting the failures of Kenyan government and society was not enough to bring about the change he wanted to see in his country.

For that, he realized, he needed to be more proactive about starting a national conversation about greed, corruption and government impunity, ills he considered endemic to Kenyan political culture. So he turned to street art. He started by setting up guerrilla galleries in public spaces around the country, displaying there his 2008 photographs—of hands cut off by mobs allied to one candidate or another, of charred bodies torched in two months of violence that saw about 1,200 killed. The goal: to launch a discussion about election violence and accountable leadership before Kenyans returned to the polls five years later. “In a world where you need to communicate very, very fast, the best way to do that is art,” he says.

Boniface Mwangi
Pete Muller—Prime for TIME

In November 2011 he drafted a team of young journalists, artists and activists to start a collective named Pawa254. Their first action, in February 2012, was a Nairobi-wide graffiti campaign that portrayed Kenya’s leaders as vultures preying on helpless citizens. The government quickly erased the murals, but not before they were picked up by local and international media and adopted as symbols of the political class’s abuse of power.

Pawa254—the name is a combination of Swahili slang for power and Kenya’s international dialing code—is both a movement and a gathering and performance space. The group is made up of photographers, journalists, musicians, filmmakers and other artists united in their mission to help Kenyans heal ethnic and religious divides, push for better governance and solve social problems, from slum violence to homophobia. Pawa254’s exploits have included sending pigs to parliament in protest against lawmakers’ demands for higher salaries (the parliamentarians eventually backed down and ended up taking a pay cut). Pawa254’s grant and studio-residency program, which helps disadvantaged youth hone their artistic talents, prompted Kerry’s visit as part of a trip to Kenya in May.

For amateur photographer Edwin Gichuhi, 29, who started working with Pawa254 two years ago, Mwangi’s greatest strength is his ability to spot, and shape, potential. “I have seen people walk in here with no idea what their talents are. The next thing you know, they are starring in a hip-hop video that talks about ending corruption. And Kenyans are listening.” For Mwangi, that’s just the beginning.

Next Generation Leaders

She Dressed Lady Gaga and Could Become China’s First Designer Superstar

Masha Ma wants to make China renowned for its design skills not just its manufacturing ability

The label “Made in China” doesn’t suggest high-end design. Masha Ma is determined to change that. Just two years after returning from the ateliers of Europe, the Chinese fashion designer is leading a crusade to revitalize the image of Chinese design, both abroad and at home. “I want to change the conversation from ‘Made in China’ to ‘Designed in China,’” she says. “It’s time for an international brand from China to succeed.”

China looms in the world’s imagination as both an endless factory floor and a voracious consumer of natural resources. Neither stereotype denotes innovation. But just as Japanese designers like Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo rescued an oriental aesthetic from exoticism decades ago, Ma is propelling Asian fashion into the future. Lady Gaga and Naomi Campbell have worn the 29-year-old designer’s namesake designs. This year, Ma, will open a dozen Ma By Ma Studio stores in China, aiming to compete on home turf with global luxury labels.

With half of her face hidden behind a curtain of hair, Ma defies the typecast of a brash, arriviste China. Her color palette is muted and avoids the cliché of China red. “I don’t go for dragons and phoenixes,” Ma says. Instead, geometry animates her designs: one of Ma’s recent collections was inspired by a museum designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei.

For much of its lifespan, the People’s Republic regarded fashion, like jazz or capitalism, as a decadent frippery. “The Beijing of my early childhood was still very Soviet, very gray,” Ma recalls. At the age of 12 she spotted an article in the Chinese edition of Elle on the late designer Alexander McQueen; thrilled by his innovative designs, her compass shifted. As a teenager, Ma won a coveted spot at Central Saint Martins school of art and design in London and later interned with McQueen himself.

Her grandmother, born in a pre-communist Shanghai that reveled in its international identity, remained an inspiration. “Even during the worst years of Mao and the Cultural Revolution, she never lost her sense of style,” says Ma. “I design for people like her, who don’t shout for attention but who are never silenced.”

Masha Ma
Albert Bonsfills for TIME

Ma’s debut collection at Paris Fashion Week in 2012 won accolades. As her reputation grew in Europe, her homeland was increasingly eager for aesthetic inspiration, and the Chinese nouveaux riches were willing to spend. “This is going to be one of the fashion centers of the world,” Ma says. “It’s like a retail explosion.”

In 2013, Ma moved back, opening a studio in Shanghai, where her success is an inspiration to other young Chinese designers. “Masha has transformed the Chinese element into an international language,” says Ma’s head designer, Jerry Li, who knew he wanted to work for Ma as soon as he graduated from fashion school.

Within a few years, Ma hopes to launch 100 boutiques nationwide, focusing on cuts that flatter Asian physiques in ways that might be more challenging for European houses. “She is incredibly mature for her age in her approach to business,” says Angelica Cheung, editor-in-chief of Vogue China. Ma is also designing uniforms for China’s Olympians. Outside her studio, rain falls, obscuring both traditional lane houses and glistening skyscrapers. “My traditions come from both the East and the West,” says Ma. “That’s the new China.”

Next Generation Leaders

This Lawyer Is Helping Pakistani Women Fight Online Harassment

Nighat Dad has taught thousands of Pakistanis how to protect themselves

In a faux-wood-paneled lecture hall at Lahore’s University of Engineering and Technology, Nighat Dad watches as a hundred or so young women raise a hand in the air. Dad is leading a workshop about online privacy and has just asked the room of female students, “Who among you has experienced harassment online or in person?”

The overwhelming response is why Dad, a 34-year-old lawyer who used to practice criminal and family law, set up the Digital Rights Foundation in 2012. The not-for-profit organization educates Pakistanis, particularly young women, about how to respond to online harassment, and also campaigns against legislation that gives the government broad powers of surveillance online, and the dissemination of personal information collected by telecom firms regarding customers’ lives and habits to foreign and domestic state agencies and businesses.

“We tell Internet users how to adjust their privacy settings, to make sure they have secure connections, change their passwords regularly and not to share unnecessary information,” she says. “And women should come seek help if they are targeted and not feel ashamed.”

The problem of online harassment is global, and across the world, young women are most at risk. A 2014 Pew survey found that 65% of Internet users ages 18 to 29 had been the target of online harassment, with young women suffering disproportionately high levels of online violence. Twenty-six percent of women aged 18 to 24 reported being stalked online and 25% had suffered online sexual harassment. Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency says it investigates hundreds of cases of online sexual harassment each year, and say that many more likely go unreported. But in a country where more than 1,000 women are murdered in so-called “honor killings” each year, and a woman is raped every two hours, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, online threats of harm can contribute to a culture of real-world fear.

One student in the Lahore audience, asking to remain anonymous, describes how she was duped into befriending a man on Facebook who subsequently launched a vicious stalking campaign. “He took a photo of me and my sisters, pasted our faces onto naked women and posted the doctored photos online,” she says. “He sent me the links and threatened to show my family.” Gripped by panic, she canceled all her social media and email accounts and digitally sequestered herself to avoid further contact.

Such cases are why Dad has been lobbying for a comprehensive Cybercrime Bill since 2009. Although the government is finally considering one, it contains few protections and actually “writes a blank check for abuse and overreach of blocking powers,” according to a joint statement from the DRF, Human Rights Watch and others. Dad’s organization also works to challenge the government’s use of surveillance technology and to protect online freedom of speech in Pakistan. The government intermittently censors sites like the blogging platform WordPress and has banned YouTube since 2012, following the release of the anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims on the video-sharing website. All forms of encryption are prohibited without prior state approval.

“Every new law has one or two provisions that are really about regulating Internet space in Pakistan,” says Dad. “I explain laws in layman’s language to inform people what the government is trying to do.”

Nighat Dad
Insiya Syed for TIMENighat Dad, Director at Digital Rights Foundation at her office in Lahore, Pakistan April 6, 2015.

Dad’s work has earned many admirers. “Nighat has established herself as a recognized international leader in such a short period of time,” says Gus Hosein, a co-founder of London-based NGO Privacy International, which advocates for enhanced privacy protections and investigates surveillance practices by assisting local NGOs around the world. “When other partners say they can involve 30 people for a project, Nighat worries about only getting 700. I just love that ambition.”

It is ambition she has shared with many others, including Nobel Peace Prize–winning women’s education activist Malala Yousafzai, 17, who attended some of Dad’s workshops prior to being shot by the Taliban in 2012. Fellow Lahori Mohammad Farooq, 31, provides digital-security training to young people and also pens a regular technology column for national newspaper Dawn. “Nighat’s shared a lot of tips about how I can improve myself, and given me more confidence to write and share what I have learned,” he says. “She’s a symbol of hope for many young women in Pakistan.”

Next Generation Leaders

Forming Alliances in the Fight Against Climate Change

May Boeve is persuading corporations and institutions to no longer invest in companies that profit from fossil fuels

May Boeve is always looking for converts. As executive director of the grassroots climate-change organization 350.org, Boeve spent the better part of 2014 reaching out to people and groups that, on the face of it, have priorities other than the warming of the planet. Glued to her phone for hour after hour, she persuaded labor unions, health organizations, and schools that they should prioritize climate change and that they should come to New York to demand action. Boeve’s tireless efforts contributed to the People’s Climate March in September, the largest climate demonstration in history, which organizers said drew some 400,000 people to New York. Thousands of others took to the streets in 161 other countries.

“What we do is try to mobilize these people to build a movement that’s greater than the sum of our parts,” she says. “No group can do this alone, no person can do this alone, so if we’re not actually building bridges, we will never achieve our goals.”

Boeve, 31, has been at the forefront of the fight against climate change since 2007, when she and six other undergraduates at Middlebury College in Vermont teamed up with environmentalist and author Bill McKibben to start 350.org. “All her powerful qualities were already evident, even at 20 or 21,” says McKibben. “She is mature way beyond her years.” 350.org gets its name from what some scientists say is the maximum level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to maintain a climate similar to the one we know today—350 parts per million (ppm). Currently, the Earth’s atmosphere is over 403 ppm, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Boeve believes the only way to get that figure back to 350 ppm is to create a “massive social movement” to weaken the fossil fuel industry and usher in a broad embrace of renewable energy.

That’s a big task, which is why Boeve has become an expert at finding common ground with organizations that seem to have nothing to do with the environment. “Climate change connects every issue,” she says. “What I like to do is figure out, based on what another organization does, how does it connect to climate change and how does our work connect to what they do?” As part of her argument to labor unions, for example, she contends that environmentalism is good for the economy. Addressing climate change, she says, is a “huge opportunity to create jobs.”

May Boeve
Ethan Hill —Redux for TIME

“She is a person who is truly committed to making the compromises necessary to build the broadest-based movement possible,” says Jon Barton, senior strategic advisor on Climate and Energy for Blue-Green Alliance, a coalition of labor and environmental groups. “It’s not every day that people do that.”

Boeve has a new mission for her broad church of activists—getting the world’s biggest institutions to divest from companies directly involved in the fossil fuel industry. “You’re either on the right side of climate change, or the wrong side,” Boeve says. “And by actually forcing institutions to choose where they put their money, it forces us to make this into a moral issue.” So far Britain’s Guardian Media group, Syracuse University in New York, the Church of England and others have all committed to divesting from companies that extract, process or trade in fossil fuels.

Boeve knows that some of the climate damage is already done and can’t be reversed. “We don’t say we’re going to stop climate change. We can’t. It is with us already, it’s going to be with every generation to come,” she says. But taking on companies involved in the fossil fuel industry, she says, is a good start. “These folks are making money hand over fist making this problem worse,” Boeve says. “It’s very much a David and Goliath story.”

Next Generation Leaders

This French Entrepreneur Is Taking the Stress out of Dinner Parties

Stephen Leguillon is sending top chefs to cook in homes across Europe

When Stephen Leguillon walks into a stylish apartment in Paris after a long day at the office, he barely seems to notice the dining table adorned with flutes of gently fizzing champagne, the aroma of freshly baked bread filling the room or the sound of clattering pans emerging from the kitchen. For Leguillon, this is work. The 26-year-old entrepreneur and seven others are attending a dinner at the home of a French artist where they will decide whether chef Raphaël Robert, currently hard at work in the apartment’s kitchen, is good enough to join the ranks of the 554 freelance chefs currently working for Leguillon’s company.

Leguillon is the CEO of La Belle Assiette (LBA), a French startup launched in March 2013 that allows customers to book a chef online to cook in their homes just 24 hours in advance. For as little as $39 per head the chef buys the ingredients, prepares and serves a meal, and even washes up afterward. “The only thing you need to do is open the door and welcome people,” says Leguillon, who recognized that people loved entertaining at home but found the logistics of planning too difficult if they worked long hours.

La Belle Assiette, which means The Beautiful Plate, promises its freelance chefs greater rewards too. “For me, cooking is really about the pleasure of creating and sharing with others, so what I like about La Belle Assiette is the proximity to the client,” says Robert. The chef has worked in Parisian restaurants for more than 25 years but he still needs to impress at this evening’s validation dinner, the final step in the company’s tough selection process. (LBA accepts less than a quarter of chefs who apply. Robert made the cut.)

The Franco-Irish Leguillon set about trying to disrupt the food industry a few years ago, inspired by how Uber and Airbnb had used technology to challenge the taxi and hotel industries. He and LBA co-founder Giorgio Ricco, an Italian he met at business school in Paris, saw the current restaurant model as broken and exploitative: chefs work notoriously long hours for wages well below the national average. Few can afford to open their own restaurant, especially with the price of real estate skyrocketing in cities like Paris.

LBA’s proposition to chefs is simple: choose your own hours, prices and menus and in return for a 12% cut, the company can double or even triple your average monthly salary, while handling the business side of client bookings and billing. LBA has competitors, particularly in the U.S., but Leguillon has quickly seen the results of building his brand around France’s world-renowned culinary standards. “We even chose a name for the company that couldn’t be any more French,” he says. (LBA chefs make a wide range of international cuisines, not just French.)

Since launching two years ago, Leguillon has rapidly exported his brand to Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the U.K. and Germany, keen to solidify LBA’s lead in the European market before its American competitors make moves on this side of the Atlantic.

Stephen Leguillon
Christopher Morris—VII for TIME

“Stephen has a clear vision of what he wants to achieve and a great way of explaining and sharing it,” says Guillaume Cuvelier, founder of Svedka Vodka and one of LBA’s first investors. LBA has raised $1.9 million in funding and quadrupled its client base over the first quarter of 2015 to reach more than 7,000 customers.

That success only came after Leguillon and Ricco, 28, spent 18 months working for free and testing six different business models, including delivering food from chefs’ homes to clients around Paris on their own bikes. Although the French government is now doing more to nourish its startup ecosystem, the pair were starting out at a time when high levels of unemployment, complex labor laws and excessive red-tape all made France a less than ideal environment for launching a business.

Despite that, Leguillon still managed to persuade others to share his vision. Twenty-one-year-old Franck Mithieux had never planned on staying in the startup world when he joined LBA in March 2014 for a six-month internship. “I just really fell in love with the concept,” he says, explaining his decision not to return to Paris’s Sorbonne University for a masters degree and stay at LBA instead. “I was learning a lot more here than at school. Stephen has always pushed me to go beyond my limits, to learn how to do things better and faster.”

It was after failing to grow his first business (an online takeaway company) quickly enough while at university that Leguillon acquired a more confident attitude to risk-taking. “Rather than being too cautious, you better make mistakes, make sure those mistakes aren’t too costly, and go learn as fast as possible,” he says, explaining why he and Ricco decided to open LBA in Belgium just nine months after its initial launch in France. Leguillon likens the experience of running a startup to building a rocket ship, promising his team will gain a great deal of experience if they hang on. “My job now is to make sure that this rocket ship takes off.”

TIME Courts

Theater Shooting Gunman Told Psychiatrist He Regretted Attack

"What brings tears to your eyes?" the psychiatrist asks. "Just regrets," James Holmes responds

(CENTENNIAL, Colo.) — Jurors in the Colorado theater shooting trial heard for the first time in the gunman’s own words that he regretted the attack and sometimes cried about it at night.

James Holmes’ comments came about two years after the shooting, in a videotaped interview with a state-appointed psychiatrist.

On Thursday, jurors watched the video and heard testimony from the doctor, William Reid, who said he believes Holmes knew the consequences when he opened fire at a Batman movie premiere in July 2012.

In the video, Reid asks Holmes if he got emotional when his parents visited him in jail for the first time. Holmes responds, “Nope,” but concedes in short answers that he sometimes cries before he goes to bed because he feels bad about the attack.

“What brings tears to your eyes?” the psychiatrist asks.

“Just regrets,” Holmes responds. “Usually it’s before I go to sleep.”

“Regrets about?” Reid asks.

“About the shooting.”

Earlier in the day, Reid testified about his conclusions from the July 2014 interviews, saying “whatever he (Holmes) suffered from” that night, he knew what he was doing.

Reminded that his task was to determine whether Holmes was legally sane during the attack, Reid declared, “whatever he suffered from, it did not prevent him from forming intent and knowing the consequences of what he was doing.”

The comment briefly frustrated the prosecutor, who said his witness had jumped ahead of him, and prompted the defense to ask for a mistrial.

Judge Carlos Samour ultimately denied the request, even as he acknowledged it might confuse jurors on the key question of the trial. They must decide whether Holmes’ disease or deficient mental state at the time of the attack met Colorado’s legal definition of sanity, leaving him unable to form a “culpable mental state.”

Essentially, the judge said, Reid was supposed to limit his opinions to whether Holmes was capable of understanding right from wrong — but not whether he actually understood it.

“I do think someone could misunderstand the use of the term “prevent,” Samour said, but he ruled that Reid’s overall comments didn’t violate that subtle boundary.

MORE: Colorado Gunman’s Notebook of Ramblings Becomes Evidence

After a long break to settle the question, District Attorney George Brauchler asked Reid “to be precise” about his findings, and the psychiatrist gave the briefest possible responses.

Did Holmes have a serious mental illness? “Yes.”

Despite that illness, did Holmes have “the capacity to know right from wrong” on July 19 and 20, the night of the attack? “Yes.”

Did Holmes have the capacity to form the intent to act after deliberation, and to act knowingly? “Yes.”

And did Holmes meet the legal definition of sanity? “Yes.”

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the attack that killed 12 people and injured 70. Colorado law gives the state the burden to prove he was sane, and therefore guilty. Prosecutors want him executed, not sent to a mental hospital.

Reid said before spending 22 hours interviewing Holmes, he interviewed Holmes’ parents and dozens of others who knew him. He said he spent about 300 hours preparing for the sanity exam, including viewing more than a week of videos of Holmes in jail shortly after the attack.

“There was nothing to indicate insanity,” Reid said. “He seemed to sleep at slightly odd hours. I can’t think of very much else.”

Reid acknowledged that Holmes’ mental state had changed in the two years between the attack and the interview, including what he described as a “physical and mental breakdown” in November 2012, when Holmes was videotaped repeatedly ramming his head against a cell wall while naked.

Holmes has taken anti-psychotic medicine since then, but Reid said the episode wasn’t relevant to his capacity to understand right from wrong months earlier.

The judge asked for Reid’s interview after prosecutors challenged the conclusions of the first state-ordered review of his sanity, by Dr. Jeffrey Metzner in December 2013.

TIME Google

Google Is Testing Hands-free Payments With McDonald’s and Papa Johns

The tech giant is testing an app that will let you pay at the store without pulling out your wallet or phone

Google is testing a futuristic way for shoppers to pay for what they buy without having to take out their wallet — or even their phones.

The technology, known as hands-free payments, is supposed to make paying in stores that much easier. All a customer has to do is download an app onto their phone. When checking out at a store, all they have to do is stand in front of the cash register and say their name to the cashier. A blue tooth sensor automatically detects whether they have the app and then bills them.

Google revealed the test Thursday at its annual developers conference in San Francisco. Fast food giant McDonald’s and pizza chain Papa John’s have partnered with Google to experiment with the technology in the Bay Area.

Details about Google’s payment system are still fuzzy. The company emphasized that it is an experiment. It may rely on Bluetooth technology to sense that your mobile phone is nearby. Shoppers who make a purchase receive a notification on their phone about being billed.

The technology is just one of many ideas involving mobile payments, a particularly hot space in the tech industry. A number of companies like Apple are experimenting with different ways for consumers to pay using their phones under the theory that paying digitally is more convenient than using cash or credit cards.

Google isn’t the first company to tackle hands-free payments. Payments company Square introduced hands-free payments in 2011, but has since retired its consumer-facing app that included the feature. In 2013, PayPal premiered a similar technology using Beacon, a Bluetooth device retailers placed in their stores.

In addition to discussing hands-free payments, Google unveiled a new mobile payments wallet and platform on Thursday called Android Pay.

MONEY The Economy

Internet Subsidy Means More Jobs for Poorer Americans, Says FCC

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wants broadband Internet for low-income families.

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