Google today announced its Clips smart camera has now become available from select retailers following its initial unveiling at Google’s October 4 event and its pre-order period which started late last month. Specifically, Google has announced that starting from today Clips can now be purchased through the likes of Best Buy, B&H, and Verizon. As well as of course, through the company's own online store presence, the Google Store. In line with previous announcements, Google Clips retails in the US for $249.
Google Clips, while a camera, is not your typical camera. Instead this is one which looks to harness the power of Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. Therefore, Clips is not designed to complement your smartphone like an accessory, or a direct replacement for your DSLR. Instead, this is meant as a device that you leave nearby - for example, in the living room during family events, on a shelf at a party, or where your pet normally is most mischievous - and from then on the device looks to identify when a ‘movement’ is occurring and naturally capturing (a number of quickly-taken images) the moment. Although it does also come with the option for manual on-demand image capturing, as well as the option to take one through the corresponding app.
While some may be concerned by the idea of an always-watching product like this which seemingly randomly records when it wants, Google has designed the product with security mind. An aspect which the company makes clear in the announcement today. So for example, while it does technically self-record, it does so locally. So anything it does see and record is only stored on the clips and is incapable of being seen by anyone else unless the content is directly shared with other people by the owner - similar to a traditional DSLR. In fact, this is designed to be a passive unit so it does not have its own cellular connection, nor does it need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network. It doesn't even need to be connected to an account though if you do have it connected to a smartphone and a Google Photos account, photos can be automatically backed up.