The rumored GoPro drone has finally been confirmed at the Code Conference this year, and it's called Karma.
With a YouTube video entitled "GoPro: Karma is Coming" and a blog post, the company announces the 2016 arrival of the device. The camera drone is expected to at least have support for 4K, and to top it off, it is believed to also support virtual reality.
Nick Woodman, CEO of GoPro, also introduced the camera system that could capture images that could then be turned into virtual reality at the conference. Made up of six cameras, the device is aptly named Six-Camera Spherical Array — yep, it's kind of a mouthful.
As a big step toward virtual reality, the company previously acquired Kolor, a startup that has the technological foundation for the virtual reality camera system.
So what could be the reason behind this expansion? Well, Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, suggests that GoPro has something to tell the world.
"They invented the action camera category and there's not many more features that they can offer [on the cameras]. GoPro wants to show that it's innovating," he says.
At any rate, GoPro will have to face DJI, a China-based company that has mass-marketed drones and is on track to garner $1 billion worth of sales this year. The company is invading GoPro's territory of ground-based cameras as well.
Moving forward, Bilal Zuberi, a partner at Lux Capital, also has an idea why GoPro made this move, noting that "consumer and commercial drones" are frequently used at sports events, where GoPro's action cameras are widely used.
"[I]t makes sense that GoPro does not want to leave that field open for DJI and others, and hurt its standing as the dominant brand among sports enthusiasts," he says.
Check out GoPro's blog to stay updated with Karma and don't forget to hit up the video below to watch "GoPro: Karma is Coming" and see the possibilities that the GoPro drone can offer. Interestingly, the scenes in the video were the ones used in the sneak peek quadcopter footage that the company uploaded a couple of weeks ago.