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This article was published on September 19, 2016

GoPro unveils its foldable drone ‘Karma’ and a new Hero5 action camera

GoPro unveils its foldable drone ‘Karma’ and a new Hero5 action camera Image by: Bret Jones
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

For a company that’s stock has been slapped around over the past several quarters, the need for additional SKUs was evident. Today’s unveiling of a foldable quadcopter called Karma, however, may be too little, too late.

The drone, a quadcopter with interchangeable rotors that fits neatly into a backpack, is GoPro’s plea to investors that it isn’t a one-trick pony. It makes sense to cut out the middleman. Most consumer drones offer their own action sports camera or at least a housing for a GoPro-like option.

Credit: GoPro

It’s not, however, new or noteworthy.

GoPro CEO Nick Woodman introduced the Karma drone today, and aside from the interchangeable rotors and the ability to carry one in a backpack, it’s not much to write home about. It’s a drone. A drone for $799. A drone with features we’ve seen on countless other drones, save the ‘Karma Grip,’ a handheld grip that allows shooters to use Karma as a handheld. The grip is mountable with regular accessories, allowing you to use it on anything your current GoPro works with.

Credit: GoPro

Woodman points out that the handheld grip is as important as the drone itself. The ‘system’ isn’t just a drone, although it’s certainly the backbone.

A lack of new features isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The integration with its own camera and technologies could make the drone market accessible to an entirely new segment of buyers. GoPro loyalty is a real thing, and those that may have never purchased a drone might actually fork over the $800 on GoPro’s version — especially since it works with all of their existing accessories.

At $799, you can get the Karma drone and a receipt. If you want to bundle it with the new Hero5 action camera, it’ll set you back $1,099. Or, you can grab its cheaper cousin, the Hero5 Session, with the Karma drone for $999.

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