Drones may have not yet littered our skies, but they do already litter product brochures and retail sites. Many of them come with their own camera for fun and profit, but a lot also swear fealty to GoPro‘s line of action cameras, long considered to be the authority in that field. Now, however, GoPro is trying to spread its wings almost literally by entering into the UAV market itself. Not only has it formally acknowledged the existence of such a project, it is now also teasing how buttery smooth footage taken from its quadcopter will be.
What happens when you take an action camera known for its stable and smooth output and combine it with a quadcopter that promises to deliver the same? Well, you get the footage below that doesn’t seem to be taken with a drone at all. GoPro claims that there was no stabilization post-processing done on the video. If that’s true, then we might be looking at the most stable combination of action camera and drone in the market. The fact that it is still a development prototype makes us wonder even more.
GoPro’s own drone product is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it does make sense for GoPro to venture into this market directly, considering where its action cams are used the most. At the same time, however, it could potentially sour relationships with other drone makers. Many professional and personal drones support one or more of GoPro’s cameras. Those might feel threatened now that GoPro will potentially eat into their market segment, which honestly speaking isn’t all that big yet.
GoPro’s other venture might be less contentious. It is dipping its toes into the virtual reality market, first by partnering with Google for the monstrous JUMP VR camera, and then by putting out its own. Just last month, it revealed the 16-camera Odyssey setup which will set VR enthusiasts $15,000 if they wished to purchase it. Considering this is still a very niche market with very few players, GoPro has less chance to step on its own friends’ toes here.