In November of last year action camera giant GoPro had to recall their latest offering, the GoPro Karma drone. The GoPro series of action cameras have had a successful run and are widely considered some of the best. Hero 5 is among their highest selling action camera. The stroke of genius to couple the camera and a drone easily saw sales skyrocket. However, the drone seemed not able to muster enough power once midair to keep going instead falling and crashing to ground.
Some sources pinpoint the problem as the mounting of the GoPro camera at the front of the drone instead of placing it underneath as commonly done. This led to the drone being front heavy which led to increased vibration. The vibration may have caused the battery to come loose thereby cutting power to the drone.
Some industry pundits are not optimistic about Karma's comeback. GoPro has in the recent past faced some challenges with its investors and the timing for the recall couldn't have impacted more negatively on the company.
GoPro Relaunches at CES 2017
2017, however, has seen GoPro and Karma come back with a vengeance. The company just announced the relaunch of Karma as early as February, when the testing will be complete. While recalling the drone was necessary, it doesn't negate the remarkable design and features on the Karma. In fact, many enthusiastic consumers will be lining up to acquire one as soon as they are out.
The tech specs on this drone are well suited for a novice pilot. For example, instead of using a smartphone or tablet to view footage from the camera, Karma's controller has a flip up touch screen. The controller is not knobby or laden with buttons and switches as is the case in most instances with the controllers on camera drones. The Karma remote handles like a gaming controller.
The Karma itself weighs 1006g (35.5oz) and is set to feature a Karma battery, charger, stabilizer, grip handle, controller and case. It also has a passenger app compatible with iOS 9 or later versions and Android 4.1 or later versions. It makes it easy to upload and edit footage on the fly as well as control the GoPro camera.
Easily Karma's great features outweigh the inconvenience of having to send it back to the company. It is small and foldable, fitting into a backpack. It also comes fitted with a 3 axis camera electronic gimbal which is detachable. It can be attached to the Karma grip and handheld for those high octane moments GoPro is known for.
Speaking of the problems the drone experienced last year, a drone industry analyst for Frost & Sullivan, Michael Blades said it wasn't an easy thing to build a drone. He further added that the technical problems are not a surprise seeing as this is GoPro's first drone product. In fact, he believes the issues were to be expected even though GoPro teamed up with drone industry experts DJI.
Amid all the speculation of what went wrong and what is being done to fix it, one thing still remains clear. GoPro succeeded in creating a unique value proposition for its consumers.