First, there was the Amazon Echo with its “always on” microphone that some people claim it was Big Brother disguised as a helpful home assistant.
Then there was the Google Home speaker, following suit.
Next came the Amazon Look, a – gasp – always on device that had a camera! And worse, is meant for your general bedroom area (at least, wherever it is that you get dressed).
Even more disturbing was the release of the Amazon Show, a smart speaker with a screen, and, of course a camera. Obviously this is Big Brother covering their spying by telling you how fun it will be to watch videos and do video calling with your friends and family.
All conspiracy theories and sarcasm aside…we are actually welcoming cameras into our homes that are controlled by corporations. While there have been a few legal cases where companies refuse to release private customer information, there will come day when this information is no longer protected. And the smart home devices that include cameras continue to be released. Some make sense, and others…well others I’m not too sure about.
Enter the Google Clips camera. This smart home device was first mentioned in the fall of 2017, but hasn’t received much buzz. Google surprised us all though, when it put the camera on sale recently. The camera is selling for about $250, and those it has been released, it either sold out or Google got cold feet because the device is now available through a waitlist only.
This smart home camera is targeted at parents and family, as it is an always on device that offers “A new way to capture big moments and little ones, too.” Google claims that this camera is smart enough to “recognize great expressions, lighting and framing” so that it can help you capture spontaneous images. It also claims that the camera gets smarter over time – which might be creepy if you consider that in order to get smarter it needs to watch your family all the time, collect data, and process it. But maybe you’re into that sort of thing.
Google Clips is able to capture motion photos that last for a few seconds (think Apple’s live photo taking), and will deem the people it sees the most as “important” and capture-worthy. So, basically just younger kids since teenagers are never around.
Once you have a bunch of pictures that capture your entire day, you can hop into Google Photos to share, create movies, or organize photo albums.
Need to get a better idea of where this might be headed? Watch the Black Mirror episode “The Entire History of You” (first season, third episode), and then cry yourself to sleep.
If you’re into being stalked by your smart home devices, you can sign up for the waitlist to get notified when the camera is available again. Currently, those that were able to order so far are seeing potential delivery in the beginning of March. So, if you’re willing to wait, you can have a brand new wiretap in your home soon, but hey, you’ll get free shipping!