I really, really want Google Clips (but not this version)

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

Earlier today I wrote about how disappointing the Google Pixel Buds were to me, especially when comparing them to the Apple AirPods. But I would be remiss not to also write about the Google Clips camera Google unveiled at the same event.

I think the Clips camera is a smart idea, but it’s not fully formed yet. The standalone camera can be placed (or clipped) anywhere and it will automatically take pictures and video of things that it thinks are interesting. As the person in the family who normally takes the non-posed photos, I’d love to have a camera do this automatically for me. It would save me some work and would allow more of these impromptu photos to have me in them as well (ah, the cameraman’s curse). Clips should help with this.

But Clips is too limited in this first version to be something I’m going to drop any cash on. From what I can tell, the Clips lens is just like any other camera lens in that it captures a specific frame and that’s it. It’s basically like placing your phone on a tripod and letting it snap pictures whenever it wants. That’s nice, but if the idea of the Clips camera is to capture random moments, it’s quite limited by its ability to only capture a fixed frame. Anything that happens outside that narrow window of vision may as well have not happened.

A Google Clips device with a 360° camera in it would be far more interesting to me. If I could place this little thing in the kitchen during Thanksgiving and it would capture images from all around the kitchen automatically, that would be incredible. If i could place it in the living room on Christmas morning and it would capture each person opening their presents and reacting to everyone else, that would be hugely valuable to me! This would take the burden of me getting images of everyone off of my shoulders and I could know that I’m getting coverage of the morning without having to do anything on the spot. I sure could take my own shots to get specific moments, but using Google Clips as a backup would be more than enough reason for me to shell out hundreds of dollars.

I have to think this is where Google is taking this product, and the tech just wasn’t there to hit the price and size they wanted for this version. I’m sure some people will enjoy this product in its current form, but I’m holing out for now. Please Google, keep exploring this territory and don’t just make this a one-and-done product line!