The future of photography is here — well, if you consider machine learning capabilities the future.
Google’s newest accessory redefines how you take photos.
Google Clips is a tiny lightweight camera with not a whole lot of things on it; it only has a small protruding lens, shutter button, and clip at the back.
But, do not be fooled by its overly minimal design; this teeny camera is smarter than it looks. So smart, it doesn’t need you to press the shutter button to take photos.
Okay, here’s how it works: Google Clips automatically recognizes moments that would make for great photos by learning the faces of people you’re always with, detecting certain movements, or even just making sure it captures unique pictures and not the same scene over and over again. This means genuine, spontaneous shots of candid moments without even having to press a button — all you need to do is turn the device on and point it at your subjects.
You could still take photos manually with a click of the shutter if you don’t fully trust the machine to do its job.
Google Clips takes 7-second clips and photos that you can download to your phone and choose from. You can either pick out JPEG photos from each clip, make them into a looping video, GIF, or motion photos (Google’s newest Pixel 2 photo format which is reminiscent of the iPhone’s Live photos). Google assures everyone that there are no privacy issues with this device — a light up front blinks when the camera is on record mode and its clips are not recorded with sound. Also, no clips are uploaded to the cloud automatically unless you decide they’re good enough to save on there.
Google Clips has a 130-degree view, 12-megapixel camera, and 8GB of internal storage. As of posting, it’s compatible with the Google Pixels, iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S7 and S8 with support for more phones coming soon.
This tiny thing will retail for US$ 249 which may seem like a lot for a camera without a viewfinder, but then again, you’re not just buying a device that can take photos; you’re also buying a device that will take photos for you. That being said, a lot is riding on Google Clips’ machine learning capabilities and the camera’s actual performance. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.