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Ask Google Home to run a Square transaction with this elaborate hack

What’s the point of having a voice assistant if you can’t ask it to charge your customers’ credit cards? A software engineer at Square understands our needs and dedicated himself to figuring out how to get the company’s cardless reader to activate through Google Home voice commands. The result is a Google Home that activates the Square Contactless Reader, which then accepts an Apple Pay transaction for the spoken amount.

To get it to work, the engineer, Pierre-Yves Ricau, built a Rube Goldberg Machine of API calls, which perfectly illustrates the “open-ish” nature of the various devices and services he wired together. The resulting process calls IFTTT from Google Home with the voice command, which includes variables for how much money you want and what product is being purchased. Then IFTTT pings a custom cloud API, which pings a custom Android app, which pings Square’s Point of Sale software, which finally fires up the Contactless Reader. Simple! All the code’s on GitHub if you want to follow along at home.

Ricau thinks his project might be useful for baristas who have their hands full with espresso and mugs. I think shouting, “Google, charge $2 for coffee,” over and over will probably get tiring for employees while simultaneously annoying everyone in the shop, but maybe that’s just me.


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