Rumors have been swirling for quite some time that GoPro was developing a drone. Many expected GoPro to introduce a drone at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show. But the personal camera giant didn’t come through.
Until now. Speaking at the Code Conference, GoPro CEO Nick Woodman announced the company’s plans to come out with a quadcopter in the first half of 2016.
Woodman wouldn’t reveal any more details or pricing, but he did say “the quad is in some ways the ultimate GoPro accessory,” adding that drones are core enough to GoPro that it should build its own.
So, just how important has GoPro been to the drone industry? Chris Anderson, founder of 3D Robotics, recently said “as go GoPros, so goes drones … GoPro created the drone boom.”
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The drone industry has been good to GoPro, too. Not only has GoPro become the go-to personal HD camera in the sporting world, an increasing number of drones are designed to be used with a GoPro camera. By making its own drone, GoPro can get a bigger piece of the pie in a market that is booming.
GoPro also wants to get into the media business, allowing you to shoot and share footage of your outdoor adventures. “We have a very clear vision for the business,” Woodman said, adding that GoPro is testing software that will wirelessly sync up GoPro footage to the cloud.
Woodman said there will be a number of accessories available for the quadcopter when it launches in 2016. What those accessories are, we don’t know, but it’s evident GoPro wants to be your one-stop shop for adventure photography.
GoPro will continue working with other drone manufacturers, Woodman said. “We recognize that consumers want choice. Our primary focus is enabling great content, and however they want to do that, we’re excited to be part of that.”