AI-powered Google Clips is more than just a camera

Well, no one saw this coming, did they? Google, after the run through of the much-awaited Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL phones, revealed the surprise up their sleeve. It is a camera, but not just any camera. It is called Clips, and its party piece is that it relies heavily on artificial intelligence (AI) to go about its business.

The idea behind Clips is to let you capture moments that you may have otherwise missed if you had to use your phone or a dedicated camera to click a photo or shoot a video. You can wear Clips, and the idea is to let it work passively. Clips takes motion photos—which basically means a few seconds of motion photos, but no audio. It weighs just 60.5 grams, and has 16GB of internal storage. The Clips camera has a 130-degree wide view, and records at 15 frames per second (fps). Clips also has a Gorilla Glass 3 layer to protect against rough use, and uses the Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth connectivity methods to transfer images to your phone, for instance.

It is simple to set up and use. You twist the lens to switch it on, and twist it again to switch it off. There is a manual shutter button too. Google claims the battery life is good enough for 3 hours of continuous use.

Incidentally, Clips is not just meant for use with the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL phones, but will also work with the previous generation Pixel, Pixel XL, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S7, Apple iPhone 8 and the Apple iPhone 8 Plus at the moment—Google has made apps for both Android and iOS platforms, which means wider compatibility in the future is not entirely out of question. You can share what Clips has captured as video, photo or a GIF animated image.

The party piece of Clips is the AI prowess that it packs in. Over time, the camera will recognize faces, and understand what images you are interested in. For instance, this can be a tool to capture precious moments of your little one, while you may not be at hand immediately with a camera. However, it may perhaps not be the camera replacement just yet for vacations etc., since it may not necessarily have the sort of optical performance that would put it on the same platform as more powerful cameras. Clips is priced at $249 (around Rs16,200) and isn’t necessarily the most affordable camera, but the passive nature and the potential of AI makes this a rather interesting device for the future too.