Google Clips


What is it, then?

It’s a cam­era, as you can plainly see. But not just any cam­era. It’s an AI-pow­ered cam­era. You at­tach it to your per­son and head on out, or just leave it in the cor­ner of your liv­ing room, and Clips will au­to­mat­i­cally fill its 16GB of stor­age (or your Google Pho­tos ac­count via Wi-Fi) with snaps when it thinks some­thing in­ter­est­ing is go­ing on.

That sounds quite sin­is­ter

Doesn’t it just? The con­cept of an AI cam­era is cer­tainly in­ter­est­ing – who knows what shots you’re go­ing to get – but the con­cept of a con­stant­ly­watch­ing lens is slightly more un­set­tling. Luck­ily it seems as if Google’s new cam isn’t quite the scary HAL 9000 ever-vig­i­lant eye that it ap­pears to be on the sur­face.

How so?

Clips is not record­ing your ev­ery move and send­ing it on­line for anal­y­sis – it’s au­to­mat­i­cally edit­ing what it sees to pull out the odd snap or clip, and back­ing them up to your per­sonal stor­age. You don’t even have to con­nect it on­line if you’re wor­ried. That said, we’re not en­tirely sure how it de­cides to start cap­tur­ing, or how good re­sults will be – al­though Google Pho­tos of­ten does a de­cent job with its au­to­mat­i­cally gen­er­ated movies and col­lages.

So what do you know?

Very lit­tle. Clips was an­nounced in Oc­to­ber 2017, and Google re­cently put a batch on sale for $250 (the UK equiv­a­lent, as these things of­ten are, would likely be £250) that sold out al­most im­me­di­ately – with­out re­veal­ing an aw­ful lot about the hard­ware, soft­ware, or its AI. We should know more once we’ve got­ten our hands on one.

That’s a lot of money for a cam­era

It’s a huge spend, par­tic­u­larly for a bog stan­dard 12-megapixel snap­per. But Clips, at this stage, is more a proof of con­cept, and we’d ex­pect fu­ture it­er­a­tions to hit a much more af­ford­able price point.

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