Because they can be. Back in late October of this year Google revealed 18 new features for Google+, including something they called “Auto-Awesome.” At first, a lot of us were wagging our fingers. Clearly this was just another ploy by the search-engine empire to entice us into using their extraneous social network. To start with, Auto-Awesome is very similar to HTC’s “Video Highlights”, revealed back in March (which no one really uses), so people were skeptical that it would catch on.
Combining pictures in our albums and turning them automatically into .GIF-style videos? Who needs that in their lives when we already have Vines and Instagram, right? But then people actually started using Auto-Awesome to create some pretty cool and nifty videos. And everyone collectively went, “Wait…that’s actually pretty awesome.”
All of us already use Google, after all, and with their piecemeal integration of Gmail with +, we now all have Google+ accounts, too. Using their platform to store phone pictures and short videos is a logical next step. Taking those pictures and videos and turning them into easy DIY video? That’s actually genius.
But enough talk of Auto-Awesome, let’s see it in action. Here’s a video of a guy talking about how Auto Awesome works:
And here’s another video of the Auto-Awesome video he made, in all its not-so-synced track glory:
Two thoughts become inescapable as you watch both videos:
1. Auto-Awesome has huge potential. It’s flexible, easy-to-use, and it gives users a sense of control over the production. It puts them in the director’s seat without requiring any prior knowledge of video.
2. Video automation is becoming a reality. The synthesis of images, music, and shorter video into a longer amalgam is certainly something Google would be ambitious enough to try and pull off, but is this “fix” actually helpful? Or will it just make all of us less video-savvy and more reliant on technology to create content for us?
Granted, these questions are a little premature. In its current state Auto-Awesome exists more to show your friends the highlights of your trip to Barbados, and is only available on Android devices running 4.3, but it’s not hard to imagine that in a year or two the technology will become sophisticated enough to produced automated videos with greater fidelity to the real thing.
At any rate, Auto-Awesome is definitely a time-saving alternative to doing 10 takes for a 6-second Vine. We’re betting that in a few months it will be more accessible on other devices, and when that happens you should definitely give it a try.