At Google’s media event on Wednesday, artificial intelligence was at the centerstage as the company unveiled a new pair of smartphones – the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL – Pixel Buds wireless earphones, Pixelbook notebook, and Home Max and Home Mini smart speakers. But perhaps it was the company’s automatic camera which was the most eye-catching product. Called Google Clips, the camera is designed to hold off from taking any picture until it sees the faces it recognises.
The Google Clips camera, priced at $249 (roughly Rs. 16,200), isn’t necessarily cheap, but if the reaction from the audience is anything to go by, it is going to attract much attention from customers when it “soon” goes on sale in the United States. If a user doesn’t want Google Clips to capture the moment it deems fit, there is also a shutter button on the camera as well as one in the corresponding app to capture other moments or subjects as they see fit.
Google says the magic sauce behind the Google Clips is machine learning. It says it has put machine learning capabilities directly into Clips. From the moment a user switches on Clips, the camera begins to look for good moments to capture. The camera lights up when it is taking the image or a shot, the company said. It was important, an executive said, adding that privacy is a crucial element in Clips. Additionally, all the machine learning happens on the device itself, the company added.
Once the image or the clip has been captured, Google said, it syncs wirelessly from the camera to the Google Clips app, which is available on Android or iOS platforms. Users can also save or delete clips by swiping on the app and also decide the resolution in which they would like to store the image. The company is also throwing in unlimited Google Photos cloud storage at no charge, should the users wish to store the photos in company’s cloud service. The first edition of the camera has been designed specifically for parents and pet owners in mind.