Business Technology

GoPro ramps up gadget war by launching new drone

3 min read

20 September 2016

Gizmo lovers rejoice, US technology company GoPro has joined the drone market by launching its new Karma product, a remote-controlled flying device that fits into a small backpack.

Since being founded in 2002 by Nick Woodman, who was looking for a better way to attach a camera to his surfboard, the business has gone on to become one of the most popular brands in the action camera space.

Karma is its latest effort to increase sales and appease the appetite of gadget junkies, and is described as a compact design that includes an image-stabilisation grip that can be handheld or mounted to vehicles or gear.

Alongside the growing popularity of GoPro products in the UK, consumers have also taken to drones. Broadcaster sky recently announced it was investing $1m into the Drone Racing League and plans to show ten one-hour episodes on its new Sky Sports Mix channel.

Ecommerce retailer Amazon has also begun a testing programme in the UK, to determine whether the use of drones to deliver products will be viable.

Giving his thoughts to the drone product, Woodman said: “We’re stoked to launch Karma and show how much more it is than a drone. Karma packs Hollywood-caliber aerial, handheld and gear-mounted image stabilisation into a backpack for $799. It’s so easy to use, a beginner can have fun straight away.”

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As explained in August when it was announced virtual reality headset business Oculus Rift was coming to the UK, new forms of handheld technology are big business in Britain. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Oculus Rift owner Facebook, said at the time: “When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people.”

Human-sized drones are also now in production. Although it may never hit UK shelves, the EHang 184 is a “autonomous aerial vehicle” that has an alarmingly low flight time at 23 minutes. It takes four hours to charge and weighs around 200kg.

GoPro’s new drone offering could provide a way for businesses to become more creative with advertising and marketing efforts, putting active video into the hands of users. Or, it could just be used by bored or disruptive business owners to cause a little office mayhem.

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