In what was somewhat of a surprise announcement, Google unveiled a small camera that’s specifically designed for parents and pet lovers, called Google Clips ($249). It’s not meant to be carried around; rather, it’s meant to be left alone in a room, not unlike a security camera, to capture candid moments of children and pets doing hilarious and adorable things. It has a 12MP camera with 130-degree field of view. And it records 7-second videos (or long gifs), but it can’t capture audio.
Just place the tiny camera down on a surface or clip it onto something (hence the name, “Clips”) and turn it on. The camera will recognize familiar faces through machine learning — it’s a similar technology to what Google Photos already uses to recognize faces — and will automatically start recording. When you want to, you can open an app and scroll through all the video clips that it has captured.
You can edit the videos by length, or select camera stills, and then export them as gifs, JPEGs, or what Google calls “Motion Photos,” which are similar to Apple’s Live Photos. You won’t have to worry about strangers spying on you; the Clips camera isn’t always connected to wi-fi or Bluetooth. You have to initiate the connection through an app to transfer filers. (All files are transferred over wi-fi directly.)
The Clips camera comes with 16GB of internal storage. Once on, it has enough battery power to “smart capture” photos for roughly three hours. It charges via USB-C, so you can share chargers with the Pixel 2. And it’s made with Gorilla Glass 3, so it won’t break too easily. It also has a dedicated shutter button if you want to take a quick photo.
The Clips camera isn’t a designed to be a GoPro or a home security camera — it’s designed to be something that really doesn’t have a competitor yet. At $249, it’s really only for people who want to capture what their kids or pets are doing when they aren’t around, albeit for a short period of time. Google didn’t specify when the Clips camera would ship, but you can join a waitlist to stay on top of it.