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CheckMag | Google Clips: Time for a relaunch?

Google Clips launched for $249 in 2017, which was considered pricey for what it could do. (Image source: Google/Internet Archive)
Google Clips launched for $249 in 2017, which was considered pricey for what it could do. (Image source: Google/Internet Archive)
Google Clips wasn't a success, but with recent advancements, updated specs, and additional features, Google might want to bring this product back to the market.
Views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author.

In 2017, Google announced a new device, a clip-on camera called Google Clips, that could automatically capture short clips of people or pets. Priced at $250, the device uses AI to determine a memorable moment and then proceeds to capture it — saving you the time you’d spend whipping out your phone, launching your camera app, and trying to capture such a moment that might have passed. Unfortunately, while Google Clips wasn’t successful and had to be discontinued in 2019, current advancements in AI may be what it needs for a relaunch.

A lot has changed since 2017, and AI has seen significant improvements with the launch of consumer AI tools such as ChatGPT, Google Gemini, and CoPilot. On top of that, Google has added more AI camera features to its Pixel lineup with features such as Magic Eraser, Photo Unblur, Video Boost, Night Sight, Real Tone, etc. By combining these advancements with a newer sensor and updated specifications, it could be better at detecting what moment to capture which was one of the major gripes of the device.

However, Google Clips has to do more than just take great shots to be a hit product.
Here are some suggestions on features and functions a revamped Google Clips should have to make it succeed:

1. Webcam

I believe Google made a mistake by not letting the original Google Clips pull double duty as a webcam. Even when it failed at doing what it was originally designed for, those who owned it would be okay with it if it could be used for another purpose - a webcam. If Google chooses to relaunch it, then this is a feature that needs to be added.

When not taking pictures, owners can simply plug it into their Chromebook, PC, Mac, or even Android TV/Google TV to use it for video calls. And with access to Google’s AI camera features, users can be assured of exceptional video quality. Since it is going to pull double duty as a webcam, a microphone is expected to be added, a feature not available on the original Google Clips. With this, Google can have a rival to the Opal Tadpole (curr. $129 on Amazon).

2. Google Lens integration

By integrating Google Clips with Google Lens, the device can not only work as a camera for taking photos. A refreshed Google Clips with Google Lens integration can help people including those who are visually impaired identify objects, translate or read out signs and billboards, identify currency notes, read food labels, or read out prescriptions.

The new Google Clips doesn’t necessarily need to have a speaker to say out loud what it identifies. Instead, Google can add support for connecting to earbuds or Bluetooth headphones, so that what it recognizes or translates is relayed to a user's earbuds.

3. Baby monitor/Security camera

If the Google Clips is designed to take photos of your little ones, then it can also function as a baby monitor that can keep an eye on your child or even an indoor security camera. Rather than take photos of your child, it can send alerts to your phone when it senses the child crying when in baby monitor mode or take photos if it sees someone when in security camera mode. Users should also be able to view a live feed via the app.

By adding these features, it is easier to retain the $250 price tag of the original Google Clips which many people felt was overpriced


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Habeeb Onawole, 2024-02-12 (Update: 2024-02-12)