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Google just unveiled a new miniature smart camera called Google Clips, which uses artificial intelligence to capture photos for you. Clips will cost $249 and is “coming soon,” Google says.
A user could set the camera down or clip it to a piece of furniture, for example, and the camera would seek out moments to capture. Clips can capture still photos and short video clips, which can also be saved on your smartphone. The company claims the camera is smart enough to recognize familiar faces over time, like family members, so that it knows when to snap photos. It’s also capable of recognizing pets.
The idea of Google placing a camera inside the home will undoubtedly incite some concerns over privacy, as Amazon did when it unveiled its first Echo to include a camera. But Google says the camera is safe and secure since it doesn’t require an Internet connection in order to work. Users would need to connect the camera to their phone in order to see what they’ve shot with Clips. Automatic video grabs are captured without sound (presumably to avoid falling afoul of wiretapping laws), and there’s an indicator light that blinks to alert users when the camera is in use.
Google isn’t the first company to release a camera that can automatically take photos on a user’s behalf. That was the idea behind the Narrative Clip, a tiny wearable camera that was capable of snapping two pictures per minute. But Google’s stands out in its ability to recognize the important people (or animals) in your life, then capture footage at the right moment.