Drones

Take two: GoPro's Karma drone set for 2017 relaunch

Take two: GoPro's Karma drone ...
GoPro isn't ready to write off its foray in camera drones as a complete failure just yet
GoPro isn't ready to write off its foray in camera drones as a complete failure just yet
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The action camera company is showing off its Karma drone at CES this week
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The action camera company is showing off its Karma drone at CES this week
GoPro isn't ready to write off its foray in camera drones as a complete failure just yet
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GoPro isn't ready to write off its foray in camera drones as a complete failure just yet

It's no secret that the launch of GoPro's Karma drone didn't exactly go to plan, with the company quickly recalling thousands of the highly anticipated aircraft due to a few instances of power failure. The company is now looking to jump back on the flying horse, announcing plans to re-release the drone later in the year.

The action camera company is showing off its Karma drone at CES this week, which does seem a bit odd considering it was pulled from the market in November after a number of them tumbled from the sky mid-flight. There are more than a few unnerving examples of this floating around on YouTube.

The company tried to steady the ship with the separate launch of the Karma Grip, a stabilizer that Karma owners could detach from their drone and use as a handheld camera stabilizer for their GoPro, though the drone itself has remained off limits.

But GoPro isn't ready to write off its foray in camera drones as a complete failure just yet. It says it has pinpointed the source of the problem: a mechanical issue relating to how the drone's battery is secured. It is now carrying out testing and will give another update in February, ahead of a global relaunch later in the year.

Source: GoPro

4 comments
Peter Kelly
There is very little chance of this being a success now unless they make some significant changes. Given that they can't make it smaller (with the obvious comparison to the Mavic), they would need a much longer flight time and more sophisticated controls/ object avoidance. Ideally, it would also be cheaper (or at least a big re-launch discount). I think most of that will be difficult to achieve, so I predict a disappointing second effort before it quietly disappears from the market.
Milton
As Peter pointed out, they may have missed their opportunity on this one. However, initial good reviews and steller video quality mean this thing still has a chance.
christopher
Everything about this drone is worse than DJI, including the price. They should abandon drones entirely, beef up their camera goodness, and *partner* with DJI instead - better to have 2 experts in their fields *collaborating*, than have one expert playing wannabee catchup in stuff they're not good at...
Daishi
DJI has no interest in partnering with GoPro and the synergy that existed between the 2 companies has mostly been dissolved with DJI pushing hard for their own camera line to be used. GoPro has to become DJI before DJI becomes GoPro. There is a lot of competition but it's not game over yet. GoPro doesn't have to be the cheapest or even necessarily make a profit on their drones. They could however indeed buy a smaller drone company and merge with them if it's something they can't figure out easily in house. It makes more sense at this point for GoPro to buy a mostly unknown competitor to DJI and I'm sure there are a whole bunch. Autel Robotics X-Star, Yuneec Typhoon and Tornado etc. Some of DJI's competitors have almost-as-good drones for less money already so GoPro could merge with them and sell them under the GoPro name and leverage their camera line and market power to be a solid alternate option. They probably should have done this a few years ago though as their stock is down 75% since 2014. They needed to become a drone company before Yi action cameras ate their lunch with cheaper products rather than after :)