Google Releases Small Camera That Echoes Google Glass

Updated on
  • GoPro shares fall on concern about new camera competitor
  • Google packages free Photo storage service with new device

Google's Osterloh on Innovation Behind New Gadgets

Google unfurled fresh phones, speakers, laptops and other familiar consumer devices on Wednesday. The surprise was a new gadget that echoes the company’s earlier controversial stab at futuristic hardware.

Google announced a $249 product called Google Clips, a small, lightweight camera that pairs with its Pixel smartphones, at an event in San Francisco. It can be clipped to tables, chairs or a mantle and snaps pictures that can be stored in the Google Photos app or on the device. The company said it uses machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence, to automatically recognize and take pictures of subjects that are important to users.

Google Clips

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

It’s designed to work a bit like Google Glass, the infamous head-mounted device that caused a backlash because wearers could take photos without people noticing. “It looks like a camera and has an indicator light. So everybody knows what the device does,” Juston Payne, a Google product manager, said on stage.

GoPro Inc. shares fell 6.3 percent to $10.39 at the close in New York on concern about a big, new competitor in the market for action cameras.

Google is packaging some of its popular, free web services with the Clips device -- a strategy the company uses with all its new in-house hardware. Images collected with the Clips camera are stored free on the Google Photos app, and there’s no limit to how many snaps can be saved. However, the company specified that camera owners can chose to store the photos in an app, on the device or in another cloud service, a potential hedge against privacy concerns. Users can then make movies from the pictures and set them to music, Google said.

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