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.
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.