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Canon takes tentative step towards eliminating photographers with robotic PICK camera


Canon is embracing the AI-infused future with a strange new robotic camera called the PowerShot PICK. This little device swivels and keeps its subjects in view, taking commands or snapping shots on its own.

It’s a bit like a smart security camera or Facebook’s Portal, but meant to 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.

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

The Canon Pick camera tracks a strange looking guy on a BMX bike.

“PICK… stop watching me.” “I’m afraid I can’t do that, Dennis.” Image Credits: Canon

A promo video for the campaign shows the PICK being used in a variety of circumstances: 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.

The idea is fun — a device you just set down and it snaps candid photos while you do your thing, or keeps you in view while you do your vlog — but the proof is in the pudding.