GoPro unveiled its first-ever drone at a press event this morning, providing popular digital creators with yet another piece of buzzworthy equipment to add to their arsenals. The quadcopter, which is called Karma and priced at $800 (with cameras sold separately), was initially announced over a year ago and will be available on Oct. 23.
The Karma is compact, according to GoPro, and can fold up to fit inside of a backpack. The device is sold with a controller, according to The Los Angeles Times, and enables one person to shoot photo or video footage using a smartphone while the other pilots the drone with the controller. “We’re stoked to launch Karma and show how much more it is than a drone,” GoPro CEO Nick Woodman said of the launch in a statement. “Karma packs Hollywood-caliber aerial, handheld, and gear-mounted image stabilization into a backpack for $799. It’s so easy to use, a beginner can have fun straight away.”
While GoPro is far from the first tech company to foray into drone development, the action camera maker’s respected name will likely make it a formidable contender, notes the Times. Analysts say the company (which generates $1.5 billion in annual revenue) could sell 100,000 drones this year — or roughly in $50 million in sales.
And at the same time that it released Karma, GoPro rolled out updates to two of its most popular cameras — the Hero5 Black, which is now waterproof and touts GPS and voice control ($400), and the smaller Hero5 Session, which now features the ability to shoot 4K video ($300). Both cameras are compatible with Karma, and consumers can receive a $100 discount on the drone when they buy either one.
At the same time, Woodman today announced several new software products and accessories slated to roll out from GoPro in coming weeks, including: a cloud-based subscription service that auto-uploads footage while cameras charge, a Quik desktop and mobile video editing app, a Quik Key micro-USB card that plugs into phones to transfer footage, and a voice-activated remote control called Remo.