Our experiment and review of google+ “hangout” video feature, we like it…

Pt 2879

Pt 2880

Before our weekly “ASK AN ENGINEER” chat we started a “google+ hangout” 30 minutes before the show to check it out. A google+ hangout allows 10 people to video chat all at once, they can be people from your “circles” or anyone from the public who also a google+ account. It appears you can do text chat as well show a YouTube video but only did the video chat.

The hangout “creator” posts a hangout and chooses which circles to add, we choose public. Anyone in our “stream” could then join (up to 10 people) – we tried to cut/paste a link in the IRC chat for the show but that did not seem to work out that well.

The chat feature is pretty neat, 10 people can all see and talk to each other. As one person talks their video is shown the largest and the title bar shows their name. To put this in Apple terms it “just works”. It’s impressive, all through a browser and we used an external camera on a Mac.

The “hangout” seems perfect for product development teams, designers and engineers with agenda driven meetings. This tool is likely used at google for everything now. Specs from google here.

The challenge for the public (for now) seems to be the unknown social protocols when 10 people all have video chat at the same time. In our chat it was unclear who should talk first, how to end and basically hand it off to someone else and there was some “dead air” while we all just stared at each other. That’s the interesting part we think, this is new and people will likely figure out how to take turns on the fly, etc. In person a seating arrangement or the loudest voice would happen, but with google hangout we’ll all need to think about 10 person video chat protocol with and without an agenda or pre-assigned roles.

Any way, we like this better than Facebook and will likely do a mini-10-person video chat 30 minutes before the show each. We also know how we’ll solve any “what to talk about” challenges.

We think we’ll have a topic “show-and-tell” so 10 makers can show their project(s) to each other, meet each other and then we’ll do the show. It’s only 10 people per hangout now but that’s ok, all the folks in the IRC chat can pair (dec-off? 10) and meet each.

Later, we might have 9 guests for a “summit” and record it or stream that live, who knows – we have a few other ideas too. Our goal with this, we think, will be connecting people who do electronics.

Note: We asked everyone if it was ok if we took a screenshot (above) of the hangout list and the video, they said ok 🙂

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in! adafruit.com/mastodon

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !


  1. Perhaps a ’round robin’ type of format, where people simply take turns, and hand off to the next person in line, similar to the way a lot of ham radio repeaters operate?

    The row of video windows at the bottom could help to keep things in order – pass off to the person on your right. If you have nothing to add on that round, just ‘pass the token’ to the next person (just point as the previous person is wrapping up, since the video windows are live-ish).

  2. @seamus – when we do the “show and tell” that’s the plan.

  3. round robin might work for show and tell but not for work or free-form sessions. i think there needs to be a cued semaphore built into the interface. for now, it could be as simple as holding up a card with a raised hand while assigning a hangout moderator.

  4. I was in that hangout! 😀

  5. The hangout persisted after the hosts left. Several of us stayed a few more minutes commenting on this and saying hi/bye before leaving to go watch AAE.

  6. Hmm… I might suggest looking at how TWiT works… Leo is the leader, and more-or-less “directs traffic” for the show.

    Also – yes, please do stream it in the regular channel.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.