Google has always had a mission to organize the world's information, and so far that has mostly had to do with making it easier to find relevance in the vast amounts of data on the Internet. But, now Google also wants to organize the information held in the brains of all us humans. To do that, Google has launched Helpouts, which attempts to connect people with real live experts.
The Helpouts can cover a wide range of topics from cooking lessons to physics to fashion, and not all Helpouts are free. While some are free, others can be up to $20 per session. As you might expect from the name, the service leverages Hangouts video chats to connect you with an expert in the field of your interest, and it essentially becomes an easy way to get a quick primer on a subject, or full tutoring. You simply go to the website or the Android app, search for the topic you want, and Helpouts will list experts who may be able to help. From there, you can either start a Helpout right away, or schedule one for the future.
To start, Helpouts has a limited number of partners (including Weight Watchers, Sephora, and One Medical), and is performing full background checks on anyone offering help on the service. This is a controlled and curated service, and one that Google seems to want to pull along slowly. Google is taking a 20% cut of all paid sessions right now, and is only running the service on PCs and Android. Until it sorts out the payment system, it's unclear if the service will come to iOS.