As GoPro shares continue to tumble, the company has decided to delay the release of its highly anticipated Karma drone until the holiday season. The Karma was originally expected in the first six months of 2016.
One thing GoPro did release yesterday was its financial statements for the first quarter of 2016. Worryingly, revenue is down 50% from the same time just last year. Add that to investors’ hopes that the Karma will go a long way to reversing the recent slump, and you can understand why the company has chosen to delay its drone until everything is perfect. In short, GoPro have a lot riding on this.
GoPro CEO Nick Woodman discussed the surprise delay during a call with analysts on Thursday, although he didn’t go as far as to say why. He did however describe it as a difficult decision, and claimed that as recently as this week they had planned to go ahead with a release next month.
This suggests that there aren’t any glaring technical issues with the Karma. It seems more of a financial decision, with the company hoping to capitalize on a boost in sales over the Christmas period. This means that drone enthusiasts will have to wait even longer see what features GoPro has planned for the Karma. During the call Woodman said, and take from this what you can, that it would be “much more than a drone”, and come with “differentiated features.” Mysterious.
The Karma is, after the earlier release of DJI’s Phantom 4, arguably the most highly anticipated drone of 2016. A number of promotional videos, such as the one above, have hinted at some interesting features. On top of the expected follow me and autonomous flight functions, videos suggest that the Karma may be able to take off in mid air, and could include a ‘360’ degree camera for a semi-VR experience.
GoPro’s newest cameras are using a spherical array, which allows for videos to be viewed after from a number of different perspectives. This technology incorporated into the Karma would certainly make the GoPro drone stand out from the crowd. Check out the video below.