The upcoming Google Clips smart compact camera has been certified by the United States Federal Communications Commission as the Google GO15A, which is the model number shown on the device listed in the Google Store. The fact that the gadget has passed through the FCC means that it has been vetted as safe for humans and the networks they use. Combined with the fact that the Google Store listing is already up, with a $249 price tag attached, the Google Clips is likely to start retailing in the coming weeks.
The camera is powered by a specialized Intel processor and packs native support for computer vision and machine learning powered by a program that Google calls MomentIQ. This allows it to separate itself from other compact cameras on the market that may use motion or sound sensing. Instead, the Google Clips uses computer vision to tell what it's looking at, who it's looking at, and what's exactly going on in front of its lens. From there, it figures out whether the moment is worth saving using another set of algorithms and does so automatically. It can also let a user know when its lens is blocked and can record for up to three hours of footage on a single charge. The kicker is that captured clips can only be viewed by linking it up with a compatible smartphone. The tiny 50mm camera has a 130-degree field of view and can record at up to 15 frames per second. Until accessed on a smartphone, the clips are stored on the camera's built-in 16GB of storage.
The Google Clips represents a fairly innovative concept, if possibly invasive or even dangerous. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is notably distrustful of AI, previously took to Twitter to criticize Google's newest product. According to Musk, Google's intent in rolling out such a product is not by any means "innocent" and makes no pretense to be. Even if Google is trustworthy with the new product, it's theoretically possible that its AI-powered camera could be exploited and hacked in order to obtain information about its owner, or photos or videos that the owner may not want falling into the hands of others.