Canon is taking a preliminary transfer to get rid of photographers with a robotic PICK digicam


Canon is welcoming the future of AI with a strange new robotic camera called the PowerShot PICK. This small device pans and keeps an eye on its motifs, takes commands or takes pictures itself.

It's a bit like a smart surveillance camera or the Facebook portal, but it's meant to be taken anywhere, attached to a selfie stick, and so on. Its body is about the size of a juice box, which makes it portable but not quite pocketable.

The camera company appears to be hedging its bets by not offering the PICK as a retail product, but rather through the Japanese crowdfunding website Makuake, where it has already hit its towering $ 10,000 target (currently about ten times that, which is still a fraction of what it must have cost to develop this thing).

"PICK … stop watching me." "I'm afraid I can't, Dennis." Credit: canon

A promotional video for the campaign shows how the PICK is used in different circumstances: recognizing faces and shooting during a party; Tracking a person riding a bicycle through their garden; If necessary, activate yourself in someone's kitchen and follow their position.

The idea is fun – a device you just put down that takes honest photos while you do your thing, or keeps an eye on you while you do your vlog – but the proof lies in the pudding.

The sensor is small, an old 1 / 2.3-inch 12MP from point-and-shoot, though the F / 2.8 zoom lens and image stabilization should help in uneven light. We won't know what the footage looks like until they send some of them out to supporters and reviewers.

Is this a ridiculous cul-de-sac for a company desperately trying to escape the photo industry's death spiral? Or is it a clever and simple solution for people who are tired of thinking, "Ah – someone should get a picture of this." Of course, you can still optimize and operate the camera using a companion app.

One thing it doesn't seem like is having a webcam that seems like a missed opportunity. A swiveling, smart webcam that takes voice commands would be a godsend for many people tired of answering every call in the same shabby rectangle of their improvised home office. Now that we all stopped bothering about looking professional (and if you haven't stopped … that's your cue), maybe we can start holding meetings while we clean the kitchen or sit on the patio.

Hopefully this little experimental device bears fruit for Canon and we all have robot camera friends that we take with us everywhere. Sounds scary now, of course, but wait a couple of years.


Katherine Clark