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GoPro’s developer program aims to connect its cameras to cars, toys, and apps

TechCrunch TechCrunch 14/04/2016 Devin Coldewey

GoPro on Thursday very quietly took the wraps off its new developer program, by which it hopes to get its action cameras hooked into as many third-party devices, vehicles, and service as possible. The program was announced at a private event in San Francisco, where it showed off the fruits of various partnerships.

The Periscope integration announced earlier this year is an example of what the company is hoping to achieve. There was also a snap-on timecode system that you can use to sync your footage (announced last week, but still new), a mount for kids’ toys from Fisher-Price, add-ons for tracking your route and vital statistics when parasailing, skiing, and other extreme activities — you get the general idea. Partnerships with BMW and Toyota also suggest more automotive applications in the future.

Perhaps the coolest item, shown off at the end of this highlight video, was a gesture-based camera control system for when your motorcycle gloves or [insert extreme garment here] prevent you from operating the app.

The hope, presumably, is that this will extend GoPro’s reach and restore the company’s luster (and sales) after a disappointing earning report. Turns out people don’t buy a new action camera every year or so, unlike iPhones. But dozens of cool new applications and accessories could bring in new users, put more miles on existing cameras — or leverage features only available in the latest model.

There’s also a “Works with GoPro” badge now — it’s sort of a rite of passage in consumer electronics to get big enough to require curation of accessories, and then name that curation process the exact same thing as everyone else’s.

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