What does it take to sink a stock? Not much, when it comes to companies perceived as teetering on the edge. GoPro stock slumped immediately following one of Google’s big product reveals on Wednesday, and the product actually bears very little resemblance to GoPro’s cameras. The Google Clips is a small clip-on camera that investors see as being big competition for GoPro’s wearable cameras. It didn’t take long for the camera to send GoPro stock plunging as it fell 5% in only about 10 minutes, and the plunge continued on Thursday, as it’s down already by about 3%, and the market’s only been open for about 30 minutes.
The Google Clips is more than just another wearable camera, however. It’s a new concept because users just clip it onto their shirt, and then it takes pictures automatically throughout the day. Google harnessed the power of artificial intelligence for the camera as it’s designed to zero in on things the wearer will want to remember the most, such as smiles, the people they care most about, and other fun memories. The camera is the ultimate device for capturing candid shots that truly represent regular life.
As neat as the Google Clips camera sounds, I can’t help but wonder how long it will be before people start complaining about privacy issues. Privacy concerns were one of the issues that helped kill off Google Cardboard, although at least the Clips actually looks like a camera. The Google Clips doesn’t require an Internet connection, which is good for the privacy of the user, at least.
The camera’s price probably won’t help it much either because Google has set it at $249, and many of the comments on articles about it were about how expensive it is compared to what people would pay for it.
It does seem a little strange that just the mere announcement about the Google Clips was enough to sink GoPro stock because in reality, the two aren’t very much alike. Clips is designed to capture what Google calls “motion photos,” which last “several seconds” but don’t have audio, so you can’t take videos with it. In reality, Google Clips is just another member of the Google/ Android ecosystem that’s designed to work with the new Pixel phones. Those who use a Pixel with their Clips will get free unlimited storage for photos and clips.
The Clips comes with 16GB of storage, and it connects wirelessly to the user’s phone for viewing of the captured photos. Interestingly, Google doesn’t say how many megapixels the Clips has, which suggests that the photo quality might not be up to snuff versus other cameras. The Clips does have a 130-degree field of view and should be quite durable with Gorilla Glass 3. It also features Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi Direct, and it can shoot up to 15 frames per second.
So while the Google Clips seems like a pretty cool idea, it also seems overpriced and nothing like GoPro’s cameras, despite Wall Street’s apparent belief that it will finish the company off. However, you can’t shoot videos with the Clips, which should be the most obvious clue that these two product lines are nothing alike.