Google launches premium tool Helpouts - New York News

Google launches premium tool Helpouts

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Trying to master the perfect smoky eye? Or maybe you need to make a salad for a dinner party but don't know how to cook? Need help fixing something at home, but don't know how to use this? Now there's a place you can go to get help with all of it.

"Google Helpouts is really about helping people, giving them one on one interaction with experts," said Mark Spoonauer, editor in chief of LaptopMag.com.

The new Google tool launched Tuesday and promises real help from real people in real time. Now you can get scheduled help or on-demand advice from an expert over a two-way video chat from personal yoga instruction, to cooking lessons. Google has more than 1,000 providers signed up.

Joe Barbera of Long Island said it could come in handy since he's not so handy around the house.

"If you have a leak in the house they can tell you how to fix it," Barbera said. "If you have a clamp or a piece of rubber, you can stop it until you get a mechanic."

Another area getting a lot of attention is health care. For example, a board-certified doctor offers live consultations and charges $5 per minute."

All users need a Google+ account. Payment is handled through Google Wallet.

But some aren't so sure they would pay for the instruction.

"It's going to be tough because there is so much free content on the internet right now," said Sherry Tenorio of Chelsea.

Others have privacy concerns, not knowing who is on the other side of the camera.

"It's a little weird," said Megan Milostan of the Upper East Side. "Personally, I don't think I need to see the person in the flesh."

Google said it has approved every one of its providers.

Experts say the tool seems to work, but the company's biggest competitor could be itself. YouTube, which is owned by Google, already has how-to videos for every imaginable subject.

"Over time who knows maybe you will watch a YouTube video on how to do something and if you don't get the answer, there may be a link to a help out service," Spoonauer said.

If you want to try it, Helpouts is available on a computer or mobile device. An Android app also exists.

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