Think about it logically for more than two minutes, and it’s obvious: No one is going to bake a cake (or do your makeup, or patch a hole in a wall, or perform surgery) with an Android in hand.
Google Helpouts, a new video chat service that puts you face-to-face with experts, was officially announced yesterday at Google’s San Francisco office. But we only got to see the service demonstrated on laptops and phones.
In reality, Helpouts was from its inception intended for Google Glass.
(Heads up to Google Glass app makers: tread lightly on this territory; what you’re working on might get in Google’s way.)
First, here’s a look at Helpouts sans Glass:
In chats with Googlers and Google Helpouts’ initial partners yesterday, we learned that the long-term vision for the product is to give it a home on Google Glass. In more use cases than not, this makes the most sense for “teachers” as well as “students.”
For example, let’s say we’re baking a cake. It’s a three-tiered wedding cake, and it needs a lot of internal support and architectural engineering so it won’t slide sideways or fall over. We’ve got all the layers decorated, and now we need to construct it. After Googling around a bit, we’re still stuck, so we ping Best Cake Co. on Google Helpouts.
While wearing Glass, we can show Alice from Best Cake Co. exactly what we’re working with and how we’re putting the cake together. We’ve still got our hands free to keep working on the cake, and Alice can quickly give us feedback — no running back and forth with a laptop webcam or lifting a phone up and down while making adjustments. Sure, you could jerry-rig the phone to stand up on the countertop, but wouldn’t it all be so much easier with Google Glass?
And in medical situations — which were of great interest to all the Googlers we spoke to — there’s no question of simply grabbing a smartphone when you’re in a sterile environment such as an OR.
Of course, some use cases (guitar lessons, yoga, anything where the helper-outer has to see you rather than what you’re doing), a webcam or Android makes total sense.
But Glass and Helpouts are still in their milk years. Whether one or both makes it to the big-time with consumers is totally up in the air, but it’s hard to imagine Helpouts working perfectly without Glass.