Google has launched Helpouts, a marketplace of live video-based help services it has been testing for months.
The search giant has signed on more than 1,000 service providers offering tips on computer repair, yoga lessons, health care, baking and music instruction, among other services.
People can sign up to schedule a help appointment or get an instant session. Available on the Web, Helpouts is also launching on Android
“Very often you don’t know what questions to ask,” says Udi Manber, vice president of engineering at Google.
Helpouts allows people to use their Web cams or mobile phones to show service providers what they are doing and get live feedback in a video-conferencing session.
Google’s Helpouts service uses Google+ for login, Google Wallet for payments and Google Hangouts to provide the video interactions.
Helpouts allows people to sign up for services by the minute or by the job, with varying prices. Google takes 20% of the transaction and the service provider takes the rest.
People shopping for services can check out prices, ratings, reviews and qualifications for tasks. Google offers a money back guarantee on the services.Google Helpouts service providers are by invitation only. Service providers will be available from the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Canadian providers will offer services in both French and English.