Google's new digital camera is smart enough to take photos by itself.
Google Clips at a glance
What is Google Clips? A standalone camera powered by an AI that takes photos for you.
When does Google Clips come out? No release date has been revealed.
How much will Google Clips cost? The camera retails for US$249, with no Australian pricing currently available.
What is Google Clips?
Announced at Google's Pixel 2 launch event, Google Clips is a standalone digital camera that takes a novel approach to the art of capturing photos. Rather than focusing on the typical point-and-shoot method common to most cameras, Google Clips uses a built-in artificial intelligence that snaps pictures and records videos of moments it thinks are interesting, completely autonomously.
Leveraging machine learning, Google Clips recognises the faces it sees most often and takes more photos of them than of strangers. This applies to both humans and pets. Additionally, Clips uses facial detection to determine when people are smiling or looking particularly photogenic and focuses more on these moments.
How does Google Clips work?
To activate Google Clips, you twist the lens and place the camera in front of the area you want it to watch. It'll then take photos and seven-second silent videos of familiar people and other scenes it deems important, all without intervention from you.
Alternatively, Google Clips also functions like a regular camera, albeit one without a display to see what you're shooting. There's a shutter button on the front beneath the lens, but the easier option is to use the Google Clips app on your phone, as it offers both a live preview of what Clips sees as well as a remote shutter button.
Because Google Clips snaps pictures autonomously, one potential point of concern is privacy. To combat this, Google has designed Clips to look unambiguously like a camera to passers-by, with a white LED light that blinks when it's turned on and watching for photo opportunities. Clips is also entirely self-contained, storing all the pictures and videos it takes in encrypted form on internal storage rather than uploading them to the cloud. Finally, it uses its built-in processing power for its facial recognition so that the faces it sees aren't being recorded online.
Of course, when you want to share the snaps Google Clips has taken, it's simply a matter of connecting your phone to Clips over Wi-Fi and choosing which images or videos to transfer over or share online.
On the tech side of things, Google Clips boasts a 12 megapixel sensor with a 130-degree field of view. It can record silent videos at 15fps, and its internal storage weighs in at 16GB. When connecting Clips to your phone over Wi-Fi, the camera acts as a standard Wi-Fi hotspot.
What devices are compatible with Google Clips?
To begin with, Google Clips will only work with the following phones:
Google is planning on rolling out support for more phones over time.
When will Google Clips be available in Australia?
Google has not yet confirmed an Australian release for Google Clips, and an American release date has not been announced either.
How much will Google Clips cost?
In the US, Google Clips will retail for US$249. No Australian pricing is available, but judging by the American price tag, Aussies can expect it to sit somewhere around the $320–$360 range.
Google Clips specs
- 49mm x 49mm x 20mm
- 12MP sensor with 130-degree field of view
- Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth LE
- 1x USB-C
- Up to 3 hours of active capture time