Canon, the Japanese company specializing in products like cameras and lenses, is embracing the artificial intelligence-led future with a new robotic camera called the PowerShot PICK.
This little device turns around and keeps its subjects in view, taking commands or snapping photos on its own. It is an exciting new possibility as the camera is able to recognise the ideal moment and then take a photo. The ideal moment is probably when everyone in the frame is smiling. “PowerShot PICK will capture natural and emotional facial expressions as a member of your family,” Canon writes.
If the number of people in the frame increases, the camera will instantly recognize them and adjust the angle of view accordingly.
It’s a bit like a smart security camera and can be taken with you wherever you go, attached to a selfie stick, and so on. Its body is about the size of a juice box, making it portable but not quite pocketable.
A promo video for the product shows the PICK being used in a variety of circumstances like recognizing faces and shooting during a party, tracking a person riding a bike around their yard, activating itself on demand in someone’s kitchen and following their position.
As for technical specifications, the camera packs a 1/2.3-inch 12-megapixel CMOS sensor. It comes with super flexibility as in pan, tilt, and zoom features. The PowerShot AI features 170 degrees of pan, 110 degrees of tilt, and also up to 4x zoom. There is also a 19-57mm lens that can wide open at F2.8.
Not a webcam?
Experts say that the one thing that product does not appear to be is a webcam, which they believe is like a missed opportunity. A swiveling, smart webcam that takes voice commands would be a true blessing to many people tired of taking every call in the same shabby rectangle of their improvised home office in the pandemic.
Hopefully this little experimental device bears fruit for Canon and we’ll all have robot camera buddies we take around with us everywhere in a few years.