Rumors and speculation have been swirling for quite some time, but it’s official: GoPro is developing a drone. GoPro CEO Nick Woodman officially revealed his company was working on a quadcopter drone Wednesday evening at re/code’s Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
Woodman didn’t reveal too many details, but he did mention the release date is slated for the first half of 2016 and the drone will be geared toward consumers.
“It’s incredible to see our world from new perspectives. It’s a real ‘Oh my God’ moment,” Woodman said at the event. “We did that with our GoPro cameras, and we see a similar opportunity in the quadcopter market. It’s something that’s in our DNA, and we are excited about it across the company.”
And he may be underselling it.
It could be argued the rise of the modern consumer drone is a direct result of the proliferation of action cameras like GoPro. When the first DJI Phantoms or 3DR Iris’ were released, tech savvy consumers quickly hacked together drone mounts for their GoPros. Now there is a standard among new models that they must ship with a proprietary camera or a gimbal so customers can mount an action camera on their new drone.
Hell, the most popular post on DRONELIFE to this day is These 5 Drones Are ‘Good to Go’ with GoPro.
“Quads plus GoPro has been one of the most democratising combinations in terms of enabling people to capture professional quality content and see themselves in their environment in a way that they’d never seen before,” Woodman said.
As time has gone on, though, manufacturers have opted for building their own proprietary cameras rather than relying on their customers to supply their own GoPros. So, in order to stay competitive, it makes sense GoPro would pursue an original drone design.
Absent from Woodman’s announcement were figures like price and flight times – two numbers that will be very important considering companies like DJI and 3DR have been surprising the drone community with lower-than-expected pricing on their latest drone releases.
In addition to the drone announcement, Woodman also showed off GoPro’s Six-Camera Spherical Array a spherical mount that can hold six Hero4s and create a 360° image that can be viewed on virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to getting your hands on a GoPro drone or do you think the company might be surfing into complicated waters? Let us know in the comments!
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com