Image: Ant Pruitt

I’m no longer a skeptic about artificial intelligence (AI) being useful in content creation (See how I was recently proven wrong here). During my time at CES earlier this year, I caught wind of a product that’s exciting video creators as it weaves in AI as a virtual video director/cameraman, if you will.

The team at Remo Technology of China developed the OBSBOT Tail camera with high-quality optics and AI to help video creators make even more captivating stories.

SEE: IT leader’s guide to deep learning (Tech Pro Research)

Smashing success in crowdfunding

Remo Technology launched its OBSBOT Tail Kickstarter campaign in January at the close of CES. Just a few days later, the campaign was successfully funded by more than 200%. At press time, more than $3M has been raised over the $400,000 goal.

How does the AI work?

The OBSBOT Tail AI is designed to capture motion in video and track it throughout the scene. It can track the subject if it moves behind objects or up to 360-degrees in the camera’s viewing angle. That’s right, the camera smoothly rotates on its axis to capture a full 360-degrees. Although this shouldn’t be confused with 360 cameras such as the Vuze XR, which offers spherical video.

Motion-tracking isn’t new to the world of video as drones from DJI and Autel Robotics have done an okay job at tracking subjects while the aircraft is in flight. The OBSBOT Tail AI is powered by a HiSilicon Hi3559A processor, which brings an astounding five TFLOPS of processing power. This also includes the ability to intelligently figure out which video clips could be used as a highlight reel, similar to how Photos by Google performs with its cloud photo service.

Tech specs

The notable tech specs of the OBSBOT Tail include filming at 4K (UHD) resolution 60FPS, 4-14mm focal length, 2.4-5.0 aperture for low light capture, full 360-degree panning, tilting, intelligent zoom and rotation, 3.5mm microphone jack, 610 grams weight, and 180 minutes of rechargeable battery life. There’s also a mobile app available on Android and iOS to help manage the camera, although Remo Technology says the app isn’t required. The OBSBOT Tail will start working and record as soon as you power it up and activate it via gesture controls.

Hands-on with the OBSBOT Tail

I was shipped a pre-release OBSBOT Tail and will need more time giving this device a trial run and review. This includes the pre-release mobile Android app to test the camera. There will be more updates to the app and functionality prior to the official shipping of this product at the end of April.

The company has even hinted at the AI being smart enough to track your pets in a video. Could this be a cool way to make your family pet a viral, social media sensation?

In my initial testing, the camera is pretty intelligent. But this is pre-release, so I won’t say much else other than I see why it won an award for its design. I’ll keep putting the OBSBOT Tail through its paces and wait on the updated software to come available. I look forward to seeing the creative capabilities. You can preorder the OBSBOT Tail for $489.