Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Karna - From GoPro

I have been waiting, and debating with myself, the drone question for a long time. You can do absolutely amazing things with them. They are somewhat reasonably priced. But they offer incredible flexibility in terms of what can be shot. Today we can do things with a drone that 5 years ago required a multi-million dollar helicopter with a several thousand dollar an hour pilot on the controls. That is an incredible thought.

I knew drones were for real when I saw the first DJI Phantom. The Phantom 2 was a nice upgrade, but the Phantom 3 and the Inspire really kicked it up a notch. I was very tempted with the Phantom 3, but when that was released I already knew GoPro was working on a drone. Now that drone has a name - Karma - and a release date, 2016, albeit a little vague.

But Nick Woodman just sent me an email.

You're getting a first look at the latest Karma video ... check it out. While I can't share much prior to launch, I can say this about Karma: it works in mysterious ways and not always as you think.

Many thanks and get fired up! 


All right, in fairness he didn't send it just to me. It probably went to a couple of million people. I think what Nick is saying, is that while the Karma drone will do what we expect, it is going to do some things we don't expect. I expect it will not come with a camera, as they want it to work with your existing GoPro Camera - they have millions of cameras in use, and their goal - I think - is to help you use them better. This was the thinking for GoPro Studio. I think that it will have a traditional controller - like an RC airplane - that is paired with a phone or tablet. I would like the gimbal to be removable, to attach to something like the handler (this might be a pipe dream, why would they sell one product that does two things when they can sell two products?)

I would like Karma to be $1000. This is low, but after their admitted mistake with pricing for the Session, I think they are going to try and come in low, to get quick adoption. This is how the original Hero HD took off so fast.

But what of the "mysterious way and not always as you think" statement. I think we are going to have a drone with amazing autonomous modes. I think it will follow you, I think it will orbit around you. I think they have found a way to make this simple, safe (terrain avoiding? tree avoiding? building avoiding) and usable by the masses.

Oh, and when Nick sent me the email there was a link to a video. There is a reason they aren't showing us what it looks like. I just haven't figured out what it is yet.

Thank Nick, I am fired up.

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