[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-VFC9AQM1k’]Google rolled out a new service this week that will help connect experts—like doctors, teachers, chefs, yogis, or even bicycle technicians—to users looking for answers. The program is called Helpouts, and its purpose is to facilitate “real help from real people in real time.” The WSJ reports:
Helpouts, which will be powered by Google’s video-chat product Hangouts and will work on smartphones, joins a more niche group of services like LiveNinja that offer people live one-on-one advice sessions. Helpouts will work on any device, so a stranded biker could get personal roadside advice on fixing a flat tire, for example.Helpouts experts have to list their qualifications, according to the service’s website, and users will have access to ratings and reviews of experts. Health-care professionals must be licensed and will be vetted by a third party hired by Google. It’s not clear if Google will vet experts in other categories. The experts decide how much they want to charge, either a flat rate or by the minute, and Google will handle payment via Google Wallet.
The idea undergirding this service is nothing new—people have been looking to the internet for answers from the beginning. But the vetting process will make this something worth paying for; there’s value in knowing that the person on the other end of your internet interaction is who they say they are.Helpouts consumers will get access to a much broader pool of competency, while the experts themselves will gain clients without the headache of commuting. This is what jobs of the future look like—personal, face-to-face services delivered remotely, without the hassle of having to meet at some distant middle ground.Via Meadia is looking forward to scheduling our first tele-yoga session.