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Definition

Google Clips

Google Clips is an AI-driven camera that learns to recognize familiar faces over time and automatically and autonomously take pictures of those people when in they're in the camera's field of view

Google Clips allow users to fasten the device wherever they want to capture candid photos of subjects without interrupting moments or requiring a photographer. The camera, for example, allows parents to capture moments of kids playing in children's playroom without distracting them. The smart camera also makes it easier to capture people in natural environments, which is not typically the case with posed photographs. As it learns faces over time, the camera tries to take more photos of those people and fewer photos of strangers.

The hardware for Google Clips is a small, screen-less, white, clip-on camera outfitted with Wi-Fi connectivity. A blinking LED alerts people in the vicinity that the device is capturing images through soundless video capture. AI software and image storage are contained within the device. Users can browse Clip’s onboard storage through an app and upload pictures and video to social media from mobile devices or computers. Transfers to other computers and devices are encrypted.

In response to privacy concerns, Clips is not designed to upload anything automatically to Google’s cloud-connected services and is marketed for private use, not public. In use cases suggested by Google, subjects are aware of the device and consent to their pictures being taken. In these situations, Google is marketing Clips as a way to have an ever-ready photographer to unobtrusively capture candid shots.

This was last updated in November 2017

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