Google has just announced Google Clips, a new hands-free camera that takes photos for you. Instead of having to pull yourself out of special moments to shoot photos and videos, Clips will capture moments so you can be in them.
Software is at the core of the camera, meaning Clips can be made smarter and more powerful over time as Google continues to push out new updates.
Clips can capture a 130-degree field of view at 15 frames per second. Each motion photo moment captured by Clips lasts several seconds and is called a “clip,” and they can be browsed using your Pixel phone. No audio is recorded. Each clip can be saved as motion photo, or you can select a single frame from the motion to save as an auto-enhanced, high-resolution photo.
On the front of Clips is a button for capturing photos manually. With a tiny form factor, Clips is designed to be clipped to “almost anything” or set down to document things remotely.
Clips has facial learning features — the more it sees a person, the more it learns to capture more clips of that individual. It also learns to recognize pets like cats and dogs.
Another smart feature is “lens occlusion detection,” which alerts you via your phone if Clips ever sees that its lens is blocked.
After clips are captured, the companion app highlights the best ones for you so you can quickly find the “keepers.”
For those concerned with privacy, Clips has a camera lens design on the front and an indicator light, allowing people to know that they’re being recorded by a camera.
Furthermore, what’s also impressive is the fact that all the machine learning and data crunching happens on Clips itself — nothing leaves your device until you decide to share it with the wider world, and no Internet connection is required to use Clips. Google says the technology it managed to cram into this tiny device would have required a “supercomputer” just a number of years ago.
In addition to the built-in 16 gigabytes of storage, Google Pixel owners are given free and unlimited original-quality storage for photos and clips.
The built-in battery in Clips can do 3 hours of smart captures on a single charge.
Here are a couple of short videos introducing Google Clips:
Clips will be available for $249 when it’s launched “soon.”