Update on September 20, 2016: We updated the live-stream video to a recorded version.
Update on September 19, 2016: GoPro will be live-streaming the Karma launch event, which you can watch here.
Original article: After GoPro announced a delay on their first drone in May, the company is finally posed for a big announcement — and at a time when they could use some good karma (pun intended).
The first teaser video doesn’t actually show the Karma drone, but it does give fans a new date to wait for: September 19, when we anticipate GoPro will make a big announcement. And if the teaser was indeed recorded with the Karma, the drone is both small enough and controlled enough to fly underneath a VW van.
Update on September 15, 2016: GoPro’s third and final teaser for the Karma drone finally offers a glimpse of the drone — sort of. The drone flies quickly through the corner of the screen, and while it’s not close enough to actually get a good glimpse of the drone, it does appear to be small and fast. If the teasers are any indication, we wouldn’t be too surprised to find the Karma is a small, stabilized drone with exceptional maneuverability — but then again, the new Karma certainly has a lot of hype to live up to already.
Updated on September 8, 2016: GoPro released the second teaser. Like the first video, it doesn’t reveal any images of the drone, but it’s shot from its point-of-view instead. What’s interesting is that it’s being flown indoors, inside a library, which suggests the Karma is small and safe enough to fly inside and around people and obstacles. Another thing to note is that in the video description, GoPro says the video was shot entirely from a Hero4.
The drone was announced in December, and at the time was expected to officially debut before the first half of 2016 was over. But last year the company also had to make a difficult decision to simplify their product line – removing the more budget-minded options and keeping the flagship action cameras they are known for. At the same time, the small Session camera wasn’t selling until the company cut the price in half. Those changes resulted in setbacks for the company, pushing the drone’s debut.
The second quarter results for 2016, however, were better than predicted and the company is anticipating that the new drone will pick things back up. “Hero5 and Karma will contribute to the largest introduction of products in our history, all in time for what we believe will be GoPro’s most exciting fourth quarter ever — a quarter where we expect to return to profitability,” GoPro CEO Nicholas Woodman said earlier this summer regarding the company’s second quarter performance.
Wall Street aside, the little that is known about Karma has many GoPro fans eagerly awaiting the release – and the delay could even mean more features.
“I have the feeling that it’s because it’s not a hot product, they’ve had to pull it back and add more features,” said Scott Peterson, a senior analyst for Gap Intelligence, a company offering competitive market intelligence for tech companies including GoPro. “They are being careful about launching a product that’s innovative.”
Whether the Karma will be just as innovative as the company’s now-iconic action cameras is still up for debate, but there are a few features that the Karma is expected to include. When GoPro first confirmed the rumors of a drone, its website toted the Karma as an “ultra-portable folding drone.” While specific details aren’t available beyond that, most expect the characteristics of the company’s action cameras – like 4K and rugged durability – to extend to the brand’s drone as well.