Adventure Tech: GoPro Delays Release of Karma Drone

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It hasn’t been a good year or so for GoPro. The action cam maker has seen a drop in sales, which is now hitting its bottomline in significant ways. Worse yet, one of the company’s most anticipated new products – the Karma drone – has now been delayed.

Yesterday, GoPro announced its quarterly results, and to say that they were dire would be an understatement. The tech company saw its revenue drop by nearly 50%, and earnings plummeted from a $22 million profit for this quarter last year, to a $121 million loss this year. A major part of that swing was the company writing off older camera models that it discontinued.

But the news that is most disappointing fans of GoPro is the announcement that the release of the Karma has now been pushed back until the coming winter. It was originally expected to become available to consumers in the first half of 2016, but we’ll now have to wait just a bit longer. And since winter doesn’t technically start until December 21, it seems likely that the drone won’t see the light of day until 2017.

In an effort to diversity its business, GoPro has been looking for other sources of revenue. The Karma is seen as one part of that plan, while investing heavily in virtual reality films is another. The camera maker has also revealed a special system designed to shoot 360º video in stunning 4k resolutions. But the current generation of VR is still in its infancy, and far from a sure bet, so it could be some time before these ventures start to turn around GoPro’s fortunes.

Meanwhile, other companies continue to crank out new drones that are only becoming better and better. You have to wonder if the Karma will arrive a bit too late.

Kraig Becker