Ever tried using one of the current cameras? They seem to use the most insane technologies that are redefining the way we see the world. With cameras like the one in Google has Clips device that allows the camera to virtually understand the picture!! As if that weren’t enough – it also promises some captivating and uncanny probabilities.
The whole ethos of someone just using a camera to click is being redefined a brain – Yes, the cameras now have one. This rather bizarre and yet inspiring regeneration is certainly going to confuse the traditions of pictures and how much we know.
Not so long ago, and I mean in the recent few year, cameras on your Smartphones or CCTV cams or your straightforward aim and click cameras – were probably relying on your intelligence to get a perfect shot.
Sure the camera got a shot but it didn’t have the wit to grasp what it was capturing. It was a device that was eluded by even the simple things. I was flabbergasted to learn that the 2018 smartphones could not only sense when you clicked a nude snap but it offers to tuck it away nice and tight.
Everything is evolving and this shift in tech that allows a camera the ability to understand what they see is absolutely revolutionary. I think that with AI cameras today are the virtual eyes that have an active brain – no doubt about the fact that I think it’s going to come up with some of the most fascinating and scary possibilities.
The first thing I notice is the fact that these cameras will not only assure you of some jaw-dropping captures but with its super intelligent brain it goes beyond and allows you to step beyond just the aim and focus – creating images that I can’t even conceive happening before. This is the exact same projection Google has strived for with the Clips – a new camera that went on sale recently. In its tech format, they have engaged machine learning to instantly take photos of just about anything.
Most other brands and products are inducing artificial intelligence in the realm of making cameras more effective. I am sure by now the new age Apple iPhone that’s screaming face recognition on every medium would have spiked your interest. I also read about a startup called Lighthouse AI wants to use the same visual intellect and create security cameras for homes. This invention will allow the camera to scan images from every angle that it’s been mounted on, and will further send you a warning if little things are amiss – like the kids not arriving on time or if the dog walker hasn’t turned up.
It didn’t take me long to reflect on the useful and very eerie possibilities of cameras that can decipher the world. Sure, the digital camera brought about a flurry of photography, but with this dimension and level of technology, it was a marginal revolution. I mean microchips did allow us to carry cameras in our pockets.
It is safe for me to say that AI will create a formidable revolution in the way a camera functions. What smart cameras are doing is bringing in the ability to decipher pictures with surgical precision, elevating the vision of new surveillance cameras.
Needless to say, those companies are aware of the privacy issues and the dangers that tag along. This drastic move is well measured by most companies, who are treading this path carefully and slobbering their products with safeguard measure to mildly diminish the magnitude of eerie invasive intelligence.
I have been using Clips from Google for a little over a week and I must say it is probably one of the strangest devices I have come across. For starters, the camera is about the size of a mint container and has no screen. On the surface, there is a lens and a button- fairly simple! The button clicks the picture but it’s really there for ornamental reasons.
Because you truly only need depend on the camera’s instincts, which has been designed to read facial expressions, know the lighting, which frame goes best, and whatever else you can conceive that goes into a perfect capture. The camera has the unique ability to remember familiar faces – people you associate yourself with often and it picks those instances for a picture.
Google’s Clips sells for $249, makes clicking pictures unconscious and all but unseen. A hand case and its flex clip will allow you to take it wherever you go, fit it on your jacket, on a table top, on your palm or anyplace that has a view.
That’s about all with the aesthetics; from here it’s all about AI.
Clips evaluate the scenario, and when its sense something is worthy of an undeniable shot, it clicks a burst of pictures for 15 seconds (more like a short animated GIF or like a live photo on the iPhone).
What fascinated me was when I just didn’t have the need to take a picture over the two days vacation I had with my family. This tiny device instantly did everything for me and got a couple hundred shots of the holiday.
I must say that most of them were just as I would have clicked them had I reached for my phone. What intrigued me was that Clips got some shots of what I would otherwise overlook.
The camera took the most infectious moments of my kids acting silly and fighting in the long queues at Disney, playing games at home, dancing with abandonment – the kind of thing you just can’t get around to capturing for its spontaneity, but these moments are so rich in painting the most glorious memories in our lives.
Well, people who do read my article will know that I am fanatic about capturing every nuance of my kid’s childhood – I have rigged up cameras in every nook and corner to save any semblance of these memories.
I don’t expect people to follow suit and have the same acute anxiety that I have – where you feel like your kids or pets will do something when you’re away that you’ll want to remember, which smartphones miss out on. I find that this is where an intelligent camera has a huge role because it captures these moments.
The only problematic proposition is when you have to set up a camera that doesn’t need to be clicked, of course. There is obviously the concern of spying – whether, Google is spying on you, or you spying on someone else.
This issue of this rather eerie fact was addressed by Google in a couple of points. The device itself is not connected to the internet. The camera can capture pictures offline but it depends on your phone to view or save the clips. Having said that, the AI aspect happens on the device, and the company assures that you needn’t have a Google account for the same.
Eva Snee, who heads Google’s research on peoples interface with Clips, has said and I quote “We spent a lot of time thinking about privacy, and making sure this was a device people would actually want”. She also said, “What we learned was that cameras don’t creep people out when they’re used deliberately and the person is part of the process.”
A unique feature of Clips is that is increases the memory of the other products in this stream, which include Snap’s Spectacle and Google Glass, which proved to be a failed attempt by the company to get people to use Glasses that take pictures.
Every attempt was made to make Clips feel and functions like a normal camera. Like when it goes on it flashes a white LED light to let you know that it could be recording. The camera does not record audio, for the fear that it would have been invading privacy to a larger extent.
I have used Lighthouse as well for some weeks now, which is a significant improvement over the current home security cameras that use the internet. The issue with the older cameras is that it tends to sense every motion which can alarm you.
The USP in the Lighthouse products is that the device can sense and scan space in 3D, while it’s studying faces –this reduces the panic and is very accurate in sounding the alarm. What’s absolutely great is the cool interface language that allows you to ask simple questions like “What did my pet do today?” and it will show you exactly what you ask for.
Lighthouse retails at $299 and charges a $10 subscription fee every month, does seem like they have a lot of work to do. While I appreciated the fact that it was quite on point with recognizing faces at home, however a small balloon with a face floating around seemed to invite signals of intruders.
As I mentioned, the company is still in its nascent phase and I am certain that there will be changes made to the software. It will definitely come in handy for those concerned about the activities at home while they are away. If you need to know whether your sheets were messed up by your kids, just ask Lighthouse and you will have immediate results.
I found it to be a bit ratty, especially when you want to inquire about your significant someone and not your fur babies. Just so that I could make a point here, I asked Lighthouse to show me what my lady love was doing back home and checked to see if she was with someone I didn’t know. It picked up a clip from an evening when she was talking to the neighbor, whom the device had not recognized.
This was definitely a rather invasive way of keeping tabs on my family. I can only say that it is something this camera is capable of, because of its ability to understand the world.
Lighthouse’s chief executive, Alex Teichman, mentioned that user could set some parameters against keeping such close tabs in the family. For example, you can add limit the device to identify unrecognized faces. One notable mention was that one can shut off the recording when specified family members are present.
I must mention that both devices i.e. Lighthouse and Clips are well thought out and designed against offenses. These devices offer no more an intrusion into one’s space than the already available smartphones – it’s the way of life today to protect you with surveillance.
My understanding is that these devices are just the helm of what the future holds. I won’t be surprised if all cameras will have the same traits and features, tomorrow. But they are guides to the future. Tomorrow, all cameras will have their capabilities. The eerie fact will be that the camera will not just have eyes to see you, but a brain to gauge your every move and mood.