LOS ANGELES — Long a mainstay of independent video producers, sports enthusiasts and amateur pornographers, GoPro’s revolutionary camera system is being thrust to the next level with a series of new accessory releases.
The diminutive, waterproof and now 4K capable GoPro camera is responsible for capturing some of the world’s most compelling videos — with footage used in every application from YouTube to broadcast TV and beyond. From its attractive price point to its exceptional image quality, to its ability to go where no camera has gone before, the GoPro has found a place in many photographers’ camera bags.
One major factor contributing to the device’s rapid uptake is the wide range of accessories available for it, such as helmet and body mounts (the latter on the forefront of the move to equip U.S. police officers with cameras, and responsible for much adult POV footage), plus bike mounts, and even commercial drones.
The drone application is so popular in fact, that GoPro has announced plans for a 2016 release its own quadcopter, which company CEO Nick Woodman characterizes as “the ultimate GoPro accessory,” which is designed “to spark the imagination of users,” with additional related accessories on the way.
In addition to these expected future releases, the company has also announced accessory rigs planned to put the GoPro at the forefront of Virtual Reality video acquisition — including a spherical mount that holds six GoPro Hero4 cameras and relies on the company’s recently acquired Kolor software tools for automatically stitching the individual videos together.
This approach allows viewers’ full control over the image space, and compatibility with Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, Microsoft HoloLens, and other VR headsets, while also being viewable online through YouTube 360 and other services.
For an example of this video approach, click here.
“When Facebook dropped the gauntlet and acquired Oculus,” Woodman explains, “it sent a message that, ‘OK, there’s going to be heavy development and investment in Virtual Reality.’”
Part of that investment includes a special product integrated with Google’s Jump VR system, which incorporates 16 GoPro cameras in a 360-degree mount, liberating producers from the chore of hacking together their own custom circular rigs. While no price is available, the new Jump rig will reportedly be available to YouTube content partners initially, with a widespread release planned.
In the meantime, a number of specialty 360 rigs, including underwater housings, complete VR systems, and more, are now available from 360Heros.com, illustrating the appeal of this new wave of affordable camera technology.
As for the porn potential, current polling by XBIZ Research reveals that 54 percent of industry experts believe that Virtual Reality headsets such as Oculus Rift will revolutionize adult entertainment — with any tools that help bring VR to consumers being more than welcome — and undoubtedly on the radar of forward looking porn producers.