Google Patents Method to Track, Split Restaurant Bills

Staff Writer
This might just eliminate dining out with a group and accidentally paying $20 more than what you owe

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Google has applied for a patent for technology to help you split the bill and keep track of claims.

The days of trying to track who owes what for dinner on your little notepad or cellphone are over. GeekWire reports that Google has filed a patent application to patent a way to split the bill at a restaurant, one of the most annoying and time-consuming things ever.

The filing reportedly outlines some sort of app or system that stores information about group expenses. For example, a group goes out to dinner and splits a bill. The app will then track how much is owed by different people in the group, check old accounts to see who still owes who how much money, and then settle a balance by "transferring" the money between their accounts.

"For example, a group of friends may go on vacation together, plan an event together, or go to dinner. When the group incurs a bill, typically one of the group members will pay the bill out of convenience and expects to be paid back by the other group members. However, some group members may not pay back their entire share of the bill or may forget and not pay back their share at all," the filing says. "This is unfair for the group member that paid the bill. Thus, there is a need in the art for an efficient way to track group expenditures and settle balances between group members."

GeekWire reports that six Google employees are listed as the inventors, and could potentially push Google Wallet as a way to make payments to and from friends. It not only lets you allocate how much money is owed to whom, but adds it up based on past expenses as well. So harping on your friend to give you $20 (or subtly hinting at them to buy your next drink)? Could be a thing of the past. Unless your friend is a jerk (sorry!). Check out the patent here.

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