As we’ve recently pointed out, GoPro has been freefalling in the public eye lately, with sales down and projected to be worse as the fourth financial quarter ends and their stock down considerably since the beginning of the year. While their limited selection of products used to fly off the shelves when they were the only major player in the action camera market, the company is now inundated with competition and possibly indifferent to continued success. Though it may appear as though karma is coming after GoPro for coasting when they should have been innovating, GoPro is actually coming after the booming drone industry with its own mysterious entry, recently revealed to be named Karma.
Whether this name is meant to signal the revitalization of GoPro, predict the downfall of DJI, or simply catch the eye of would-be buyers, GoPro is clearly up to something big. The above video is the latest information available about their impending drone, which really isn’t much. The video reveals that the Karma can do regular drone-type things like fly around and shoot sweeping shots, but there’s no news yet of any technology that will give industry leaders like DJI a run for their money. However, a lack of news doesn’t mean this drone doesn’t have a few tricks up its sleeve. Still, the Karma will need some pretty amazing features to get any attention in this almost overcrowded, new industry.
One spec that could really give the GoPro Karma a huge boost is its weight. If GoPro is able to implement a tiny, lightweight, high-quality camera, technology their entire company is based on, then perhaps they could offer an action drone that’s under 0.55 pounds. This weight is important because of new FAA regulations that require any drone above 0.55 pounds to be registered by February 19, 2016, with heavy penalties for flying unregistered drones. Now 0.55 pounds is pretty svelte considering that most professional drones are at least 2.5 pounds. However, there’s a chance that the Karma is aimed at consumers rather than professionals, which would give it a chance to skirt that registration weight.
News of this Drone hasn’t necessarily done much to help GoPro’s stock but instead has just made it a bit volatile, rising, falling, then rising on the day. Along with the new drone, GoPro has released an update for its iOS app that will allow most of the functionality of their cameras to be controlled through the apple watch, something that would be much sought after by the small cross-section of Apple watch and drone enthusiasts. Regardless of where the Karma will be positioned in the marketplace, it’s clear that this drone may prove to be the deciding factor of GoPro’s imminent fate.