GoPro Debuts Developer Program to Inspire New GoPro Apps, Uses

The effort aims to get third-party vendors involved in building new apps, attachments and housings to expand the uses of GoPro's action cameras.

GoPro Hero, GoPro, action video camera, video cameras, developers, development tools, toolkit

To expand the use and sales of its namesake action video cameras, GoPro has launched a new GoPro Developer Program to entice third-party companies to build apps and a wide range of new camera attachments, mounts and housings for users.

The program, which was unveiled at a company event in San Francisco, already involves about 100 companies that are working with GoPro cameras (pictured) to pair them with their own products for consumers, according to an April 14 post by GoPro. The fledgling project has been quietly under development for about a year and so far includes involvement by developers from large multinational companies as well as smaller startups.

Participating developers can sign up for the program and begin using three different developer toolkits that have been built by GoPro to encourage the creation of new ideas for the company's action cameras. GoPro is hoping the toolkits will help developers build new mobile apps, attachable or wireless accompanying devices, and new mounts or housings for the cameras, according to the company.

The mobile apps toolkit includes functionalities such as camera command and control, live video preview modes and media management to build them into new apps, while the devices toolkit includes needed protocols and code to help developers create devices that connect either physically to a GoPro camera via the HeroBus, or wirelessly via Bluetooth or WiFi. The toolkit also provides the ability to access numerous GoPro functions including camera command and control, video management and more. The mounts and housings toolkit provides inspiration and component designs necessary for building accurate and reliable physical mounting solutions for GoPro devices.

"Over the last few years we've been excited by the creativity and enthusiasm other brands have demonstrated when integrating GoPro into their own [products]," Nick Woodman, CEO and founder of GoPro, said in a statement. "The GoPro Developer Program is a way for us to celebrate the innovative work of our developer community and more importantly, help enable what comes next. We're grateful to benefit from the collective genius of the participating developers and we're excited to now officially support their efforts with our developer toolkits."

More than 30 companies demonstrated their GoPro development projects at the launch event, including BMW, Fisher-Price and Telefonica, according to GoPro. BMW showed off its M-Laptimer app, which allows drivers to acquire and analyze driving performance on racetracks using GoPro cameras, while Fisher-Price showed how it has integrated GoPro-compatible, child-friendly camera housings and mounts into some of its new products for babies and young children so parents can capture video while the toys are being used. Telefonica developed its Xtreamr mobile app, which allows users to share live multidimensional video experiences with other viewers as they are happening.

Companies and developers can sign up immediately to join the program and access and use the GoPro developer toolkits.

In conjunction with the new developer program, GoPro has also set up a Works with GoPro program that will help verify to consumers that third-party products will work seamlessly with their GoPro cameras and other products.

Earlier this week, GoPro announced that Danny Coster, an important and longtime Apple design team member, has left Apple after some 20 years to become the vice president of design at GoPro, where he will try to help create new excitement that will drive sales of the company's portable action video cameras. At GoPro, Coster will be involved in all aspects of design, from hardware to software to services, the company said.

GoPro, which had its initial public offering in 2014, has been having a tough time since then as its stock has fallen 35 percent so far this year after dropping 72 percent in 2015, according to an April 13 Bloomberg story. Sales of the company's Hero action video camera line have been slowing, which even caused the company to introduce a lower-priced, $199.99 Hero+ model last September and to drop the price of its Hero4 Session model by $100.

The announcement that Coster is joining GoPro caused the company's shares to rise some 20 percent to $13.99, which was the largest one-day jump since July 1, 2014, the story reported.