GoPro Is Developing Its Own Drones

GoPro Is Developing Its Own Drones

GoPro HEROs may be flying in their own cape by late next year according to reports from the Wall Street Journal. GoPro, who currently leads the market in wearable consumer point-of-view cameras is said to be developing their own multi-rotor helicopters equipped with high-definition cameras. It is said that GoPro’s drones will seek to enter the market between the $500 - $1000 range.

Although there has not been an official announcement from GoPro about the rumor, it appears to be the next logical step for the company. GoPro is facing strong competition from Chinese drone maker DJI, who once built its drones to be equipped with GoPro's cameras. DJI has since equipped its drones with their own cameras, and their latest announcement, the Inspire, is a drone equipped with a 4K camera. Given the current trend of mounting GoPro cameras to drones, the DJI Inspire is a direct competitor to GoPro’s new line of 4K HERO 4 cameras.

GoPro has also joined the Small UAV Coalition, a Washington based advocacy group. The group advocates law and policy changes in support of the commercial, consumer, and recreational uses of drones beyond line-of-sight and with varying degrees of autonomy. With GoPro being a member, it certainly confirms their interest in the drone industry and also strengthens the claim of their drone development.

What could this mean for other drone developers?

With GoPro merging both the action cam and drone markets, other drone developers will have a hard time competing with an already highly recognizable brand. Also, at its estimated low entry price point of $1000 or less, it will certainly be quite more appealing than the higher priced DJI products which are more geared towards the prosumer/commercial industry. Other drone developers could be pressured into developing new innovations to set themselves apart, or may simply fold under the pressure of GoPro’s increasing market share.

[via Wall Street Journal]

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Pat Black's picture

I am honestly surprised gopro didn't buy DJI last year, they had the capital to do it, and at the time dji was still a relatively new brand with little name recognition

Justin Haugen's picture

they need to diversify their offerings if they hope to see their stock rise

Jeffrey Fortuna's picture

I own both a few GoPro's and also a few DJI multirotors. I feel like DJI and GoPro had a healthy relationship in the past, most people that fly cameras at least start with a GoPro. As compact as GoPro's are they are not perfect for small drones since the battery is not necessary when you already have a larger onboard battery on the drone, the GoPro wifi had too much of a lag for realtime FPV (first person view) and also many GoPro hero3+ cameras had their focus set too close to be ideal for drones.
DJI started building their own cameras that did a better job than GoPro (at least while in the air), since DJI started selling complete (ready to fly) packages they no longer need GoPro and so the relationship seems to have soured.
It's great to hear GoPro might try to play catch up since DJI seems to be walking away with most of the entry level drone business, it's almost always a good thing for the consumer when there is competition.

Simon Dyjas's picture

that's what I'm talking about, a nice gimbal next please, I need a cheaper Ronin'esqe stabilizer