GoPro founder and CEO Nick Woodman confirmed that a GoPro drone was on its way in an interview with our own Matt Burns at Disrupt SF. “Development is on track for the first half of 2016. We have some differentiations that are right in the GoPro alley,” he said.
Other than that, Woodman didn’t give any hint about what this drone will do. But it’s clear that a GoPro drone makes a lot of sense given the company’s camera expertise.
For example, GoPro recently released the tiny Hero4 Session. “The Session doesn’t look like a GoPro that we’re used to. We tried to make the smallest, lightest, most convenient GoPro we could ever imagine. It’s waterproof out of the box,” Woodman said.
When it comes to sales, Woodman said that sales are going well but could be even better if the other GoPros weren’t so durable. The Hero4 Silver and the Hero4 Black are still selling well.
As this camera is perfect for a drone given how tiny it is, the conversation naturally shifted toward drone projects. “A drone opens up a perspective for our world that we’ve never seen before,” Woodman said. “I think it’s awe-inspiring to see yourself in the world in that way.”
And then, there is the software side of things. “What is most exciting about GoPro today is that it’s like an iPod without its iTunes. It’s succeeding despite this,” Woodman said.
GoPro has already worked on social sharing tools, letting you share clips to your followers. GoPro videos are already doing incredibly well on Instagram. But sometimes you want to see more than a short clip. That’s what’s the next step is all about.
“We’re in the process of building out a cloud-based solution to do that — it’s taking longer than we expected,” Woodman said. “You capture an experience, you come home, get on the network. You can imagine your GoPro offloading your content to the cloud”
Then, the GoPro servers will let you make a 60-second or 2-minute videos without any effort on your part. You can imagine a GoPro app on mobile, on your Xbox or on your Apple TV to watch these cloud-powered edits.
GoPro also announced the GoPro for a Cause program today. This platform is designed for nonprofit organizations. “We’re going to be lending technical support, production support, financial support and marketing support,” Woodman said.
At first, GoPro will work with 10 organizations. The first three ones are St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Mauli Ola and Bicycles Against Poverty.
Finally, GoPro has been facing tough competition but has managed to stay ahead of the others. Woodman shared some candid tips on that topic.
“You’ve got to be relentless. You need a healthy enthusiasm for all your great ideas and be impatient as hell to bring them to reality. Having failed a business before scared the hell out of me. You can never say ‘we made it.’ That’s when you get hit by the competitor trucks,” Woodman said. “If you don’t feel like you’re relentless, chances are you’re competing with somebody who is.”