At a recent event, Google unveiled a whole slew of new and updated technologies, including the second generation of its Pixel smartphone and new wireless earbuds. But amidst all the new releases, two products in particular caught our eye—just in time for holiday gifting.
The first is an update (and downsize) on the Google Home. The new Google Home Mini is the size of a donut, retails for under $50, and comes in three different colors—one of which is a pretty coral shade. And while style isn’t a requirement for our smart home devices, it definitely helps when your home assistant isn’t an eyesore.
Described by Google as “size of a donut, power of a superhero,” the Mini is powered by Google Assistant. It can do all the things a regular-sized Google Home can do—which, ICYMI, is quite a lot—but takes up a fraction of the space.
To celebrate this cute product (which is a descriptor we never thought we’d use for a piece of technology), Google is taking the Mini on tour, hitting up 11 locations nationwide. This experiential pop-up shop lets customers learn about the donut-shaped home assistant while indulging in real donuts, but if you can’t make it to one of the store locations, you can always order the Mini online. It ships out October 18.
The second product we’re loving is something entirely new. Google wants to help you live your most photogenic life ever, and it’s planning on accomplishing that via a tiny, hands-free camera named “Clips.”
Google Clips is square-shaped and vaguely reminiscent of the Instagram logo—a design that seems intentional when you look at how it works. This smart camera scans the area to detect the right moment to snap a pic. Then, it takes image bursts and syncs to your phone, so you can download images and share as needed without even needing an internet connection.
“We love photos and videos,” Juston Payne, the product manager for Google Clips, wrote in a blog post. “The trouble is, getting those spontaneous shots means that someone has to be the ‘designated photographer.’ We’ve been working on a new type of camera that lets you capture more of these special moments, while allowing yourself also to be in the moment.”
Google Clips has facial recognition capabilities and can take photos automatically, although there is a shutter button to manually take pictures if needed. Worried that this technology is a bit Big Brother-y? Don’t be: According to Payne, the camera was designed with privacy in mind.
“We know privacy and control really matter, so we’ve been thoughtful about this for Clips users, their families, and friends,” writes Payne. “[Google Clips] lights up when it’s on so everyone knows when it’s capturing. And just like any point-and-shoot, nothing leaves your device until you decide to save it and share it.”
Google Clips will soon be available in the US for $249, and will be compatible with the Pixel smartphone, the Samsung S7/8, and the iPhone 6 and up.