Action camera maker GoPro has been going through a rough patch since last year. The Hero 5 production issues, the recall of Karma drones, and poor sales have prompted many Wall Street analysts to question CEO Nick Woodman’s leadership capabilities. The company’s stock has tumbled from $86 in October 2014 to just about $8 today. Woodman has slashed hundreds of jobs and shut down the entertainment division to return to profitability, but the company’s revival will depend largely on the success of the upcoming GoPro Hero 6.
Woodman has confirmed the existence of GoPro Hero 6
During the company’s quarterly earnings call earlier this year, Nick Woodman confirmed that the company would release GoPro Hero 6 action camera later this year. There was a two-year gap between the Hero 4 and Hero 5 launches, so JPMorgan analyst Paul Coster wanted to confirm whether the Hero 6 would arrive in 2017 or 2018. Due to various issues facing GoPro, there were speculations that the Hero 6 launch could be pushed back or canceled.
Woodman told Coster that the company was working to release new cameras and accessories this year “and the new camera being Hero 6.” He didn’t reveal its features, pricing or release date. At this point, it is anyone’s guess what new features the action camera would bring. However, the GoPro CEO has talked about a spherical GoPro camera at the CES this year.
GoPro Hero 6: 360-degree content, VR support
In a conversation with Engadget, Woodman said the company was developing a novel way to record 360-degree videos with the multi-lens camera. A large number of GoPro customers already use the action cameras to capture 360-degree content. The GoPro CEO referred to the spherical camera as the “ultimate GoPro.” The rumor mill suggests that the Hero 6 would also offer virtual reality support.
According to PC Advisor, the 360-degree camera coupled with VR-ready focal point will allow the spherical videos to look as vibrant as the reality. GoPro needs to make the Hero 6 as innovative and exciting as possible to revive its fortunes. The action camera maker thrives on brand value, and the Karma recalls and Hero 5 production problems have affected its brand.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Woodman said earlier this year that he wanted to make it easier to share content. The company was working on a feature that would let the GoPro Hero 6 upload photos and videos automatically to your smartphone. A quick app would then tweak the content and seek the user’s permission to upload it to various social networks for them.
There have been reports that GoPro was working on its own chip that could power the Hero 6. The company is also expected to launch new accessories that will be sold separately after the Hero 6 release. It would be interesting to see whether GoPro embraces 8K resolution with the upcoming action camera. 4K would have become mainstream by the time Hero 6 comes out, and consumers would love it if GoPro could leap forward to 8K.
Among other things, the GoPro Hero 6 is expected to offer at least 4K resolution, 60fps video recording, and a slimmer design. The current Hero 5 weighs 118g. GoPro may also decide to pack a bigger battery in Hero 6 to let users record footage for longer periods. We expect the GoPro Hero 6 to feature a 1500mAh battery for the first time. And of course, it will be waterproof just like its predecessor.
GoPro Hero 6 release date
Let’s admit it, GoPro hasn’t delivered a blockbuster action camera since the Hero 4 in 2014. The Hero 5 wasn’t a great success. The California company is under immense pressure to give a hit product in the form of Hero 6. We expect the Hero 6 to arrive in the second half of this year. The company will most likely bring it ahead of the crucial holiday season to capitalize on the holiday sales.
The GoPro Hero 4 was released in September 2014 and the Hero 5 came out in September last year. Going by that trend, the Hero 6 should become available in September. It is unclear how much the Hero 6 would cost, but considering the financial hurdles the company is facing, the product could have a competitive price tag. The current Hero 5 costs $399, though its price was recently slashed by $100. The Hero 6 is unlikely to cost above $400.