Google’s Clips camera offers a snapshot of things to come

 In Technology
Google held a big hardware event this week, announcing a couple of new Pixel-branded smartphones, two Google Home devices, a new Pixelbook laptop, new earbuds called Pixel Buds, and a consumer camera called Google Clips.

Of all the new Google products announced, Google Clips is the most interesting by far — which is to say that it represents the most interesting trend. This consumer device represents the future of enterprise A.I.

But wait, you might say. Isn’t Google’s Pixel Buds product the most revolutionary? Its ability to translate language in real time is something out of science fiction, and the elimination of language barriers surely has major implications for the future of mankind.

All that’s true — sort of. Many companies (including Google) have been building real-time language translation software and delivering it fast to smartphones. Google Translate is amazing, and I’ve been using it for years as I travel around the world.

The only translation innovation in the Pixel Buds is that the earbuds have external, outward-facing speakers in addition to the inward-facing ones, and outgoing translations play through those speakers while incoming translations play through the regular earbud speakers.

In other words, Pixel Buds simply play the audio from Google Translate, but intelligently choosing between two sets of speakers for playback.

The effect is mind-blowing, but the “innovation” of speaker selection … not so much.

Google Clips, on the other hand, is the real revolution.

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