Like DJI who used to be BFFs with GoPro starting their own self-made camera was not bad news enough for GoPro, a new patent approval for Apple. Patent number 8,934,045 concerning ‘Digital camera system having remote control‘ was just approved by the USPTO. Actually, Yahoo reports that the firm secured 34 patents all relating to what we fondly call Action Cameras.
The idea seems like Apple is considering streaming content from an action camera into the iWatch.
Looking at the abstract of one of the mains patents, it seems that almost any action camera (or wireless tethered camera) are at risk:
A digital camera system includes an image capture module and a remote control module. The image capture module includes an image capture system and a first wireless communication system. The remote control module includes a status display with one or more status display elements for displaying status information pertaining to the image capture module, a battery-operated power supply, one or more user controls, a second wireless communication, and a power management system providing a normal-power state and a low-power state. The system is configured such that when a user activates one of the user controls while the remote control module is in the low-power state the remote control module is set to operate in the normal-power state, a status inquiry is sent to the image capture module, and returned status information is displayed on the status display #
What’s in it for Apple
With drones and action cameras being one of the more popular gifts this holidays season, Apple may be looking into expanding to action cameras. They may also have a drone of their own which integrates with the iWatch. Who knows.
Looking at the patent, the claims are incredibly broad. Basically describing almost any type of wireless camera configuration. Gopro and smartphone monitoring are one such device, but to my (limited) understanding so are wireless Fuji cameras.
It kinda reminds me that Amazon patent about shooting in a studio.
And GoPro Plunges….
The fact that the patents are so broad did not help GoPro as their stock plunged about 12%. This is GoPros stock’s graph from Yahoo. Ouch!