The camera that captures your entire life

I spy: The camera comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a USB so you can view photos on your phone.

Are we obsessed with taking pictures? This week, Google announced the release of its newest creation, Clips: an automatic camera which picks up on motion to capture photos.

Google unveiled its Clips camera on Wednesday. The device uses artificial intelligence to “learn” who is important to you and decide when to take photos or record short videos. All you have to do is turn it on.

The company is aiming its marketing at parents, saying that Clips will allow them to capture unique family moments.

The number of photos we take is staggering. The New York Times estimates that we will take 1.3 trillion pictures this year. But although we take more photos than ever, we do not spend longer looking at them.

Taking photos used to require much more effort than today’s digital images. Older pictures had a “real atmosphere and importance”, according to The Guardian’s Tim Lott. Google’s latest invention requires to no effort at all. Will we care about the photos it takes?

Psychologist Maryanne Garry from Victoria University of Wellington thinks that our obsession with photography means that we cannot just live “in the moment”.

Some argue that the purpose of photography has changed in the 21st century digital age. People use photos to communicate on social media as well as to form their own sense of identity, according to BBC Future.

Whilst many love to look at photos of happy occasions, others prefer to leave the past in the past. Should we all be taking fewer photos?

Snap happy

“We have ruined photography,” argue some. We take so many pictures that they become meaningless. This new camera will just add to the excess of photos already in the world. We should focus on quality, not quantity.

“We live in the golden age of photography,” reply others. We are so lucky to be able to capture all the precious moments in our lives. What’s more, digital photos allow us to share what we are doing with our friends and to see what they are up to as well.

You Decide

  1. Do we take too many pictures?

Activities

  1. You work for Google and want to gather some thoughts on the camera from customers. Interview your partner, who has bought one. Do they like it? Do they have any concerns? What could be improved? You have 3 minutes for the interview. Swap roles when you have finished.

Some People Say...

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”

Eudora Welty, America novelist

What do you think?

Q & A

What do we know?
Clips will cost £190/$249. Designed to sit discretely in the owner’s home, it is only two inches in diameter. The camera does not synchronise with any other device and all the information on it is encrypted.
What do we not know?
We do not yet know how parents will react to the idea. Whilst some may enjoy the opportunity to capture more pictures, others may find it invasive.

Word Watch

Taking photos
Research by Linda Henkel shows that taking pictures of an event makes it harder to remember it in your own mind.
Much more effort
The first photo was taken in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. It took 8 hours for it to appear, after the photographer had to go through a complicated process of developing the image.
Digital age
The digital age began somewhere between the 1950s and 1970s. The term refers to the change from analogue technology to much faster digital technology which allows the easy and rapid transfer of information.

PDF Download

Please click on "Print view" at the top of the page to see a print friendly version of the article.