GoPro Leaps Into Virtual Reality, Teases Drone Plans

GoPro Leaps Into Virtual Reality, Teases Drone Plans
Image credit: GoPro

Virtual reality and drones. They’re two of the hottest trends in tech and GoPro seems perfectly well-suited to both. They also go really well together with rock climbing, skydiving and...flying off a cliff like a squirrel in a wingsuit. Of course Nick Woodman knows this and naturally he wants in.

The daredevil GoPro founder and CEO -- whose 'aha' moment for the top-selling action cameras went off as he surfed inside the curl of an ocean wave -- revealed at the Code conference last night his multi-billion dollar startup’s next thrillride offering: a six-camera system for capturing virtual reality content.  

He also teased a quadcopter drone at the Re/Code gathering, held in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. Pitched by Woodman as the “ultimate GoPro accessory,” he said the drone is slated to go to market in the first half of 2016. The 39-year-old famously promise-keeping billionaire, however, remained mum on the product’s pricing and design.

Related: GoPro Launches $800 Million Offering

“It’s incredible to see our world from new perspectives,” Woodman told Re/Code’s Kara Swisher. “It’s a real ‘Oh my God’ moment. We did that with our GoPro cameras, and we see a similar opportunity in the quadcopter market. It’s something that’s in our DNA, and we are excited about it across the company.”

GoPro’s inaugural virtual reality rig, which Woodman showed off on stage, houses six GoPro HERO4 cameras, approximately $3,000 worth, in an arrangement that allows them to record high-res panoramic and spherical video and photographs for virtual reality. Technology from Kolor, a French virtual reality upstart that GoPro scooped up last April, will be used to hem the captured content together.   

Related: GoPro Finally Launches a Camera Harness For Man's Best Friend

Commemorating the acquisition, GoPro released a surreal video demonstrating of what its footage looks like when paired with Kolor’s software. It makes for some amazing viewing. Check it out.  

Users of GoPro’s cube-like virtual reality rig -- somewhat long windedly called the Six-Camera Spherical Array -- will be able to watch the 6K, 360-degree immersive imagery that they capture on smartphones, computers and on an array of virtual reality headsets. These include Microsoft HoloLens, Oculus and Google Cardboard, reports Re/Code.   

GoPro’s stock is trading up on the news of the coming product lines, at $56.95 at 12:17 p.m. ET. That’s double the $24 price the San Mateo, Calif., company went public at coming up on a year ago.

Related: 5 Visionary CEOs and Their Key Traits That Every Leader Should Master

Edition: October 2016

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