GoPro's first drone is out of the marketMost companies, at the launch of their prototypes are almost never sure about it, this is due to the fact that sufficient time has not been dedicated to the testing of the product because of their rush to launch the product, however we can see that many fail as a result of this. It is a very normal occurrence to have products withdrawn from the market, even though there are customers who have pre-ordered the product, having the confidence that it will be a success even if it has not been released to the market. The customers have simply based their decision on the picture that the company has painted about it, but we can’t allow ourselves to be blindfolded by a product that is still just a prototype.

Not only does this happen to small companies, one of the biggest examples of this was the recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, a company of great international repute with a lot of experience in the development of products such as smartphones and other kinds of electronic products had the worst happen to them, the withdrawal of one their products due to overheating which instantly caused an explosion. This happened this year, it is necessary to take into account a time for product testing since that way we can determine if the product is profitable and can be launched to the market, many companies dedicate and put engineers in charge of this, but Samsungs’ high-end smartphone got out of hand.

GoPro and its’ “Karma” drone

It was a huge surprise for the market that a camera company wanted to expand its product and launch a drone named “Karma”. If we reconsider GoPros’ proposal, we will see that its’ not so bad owing to the fact that the drone camera market has got a lot of competition and who other than one of the best in camera resolution to contribute its technology and continue with the advancement of high resolution cameras, this would help other companies to come up with new ideas.

The “Karma” drone was released on September 19, 2016, great news for drone and high resolution GoPro camera fans, owing to the fact GoPros’ cameras function well in different climates, it was set to be one of the best drones that we have today, but it could not compete against other drones with more advanced features like those of Parrot (Bebop), Yuneec (Typhoon 4K), DJI (Phantom 4) or Walkera (Voyager 3). GoPro launched this drone with the main purpose of being relevant in the world of drones, and little by little compete against the greats.

More than 2,500 units recalled

Just like Samsung, GoPro suffered a malfunction with the launch of its Karma drones, so much that the known number of drones recalled were more than 2,500 units, all were reported and ways were sought to appease customers and leave them as satisfied as possible, people who pre-ordered the the “Karma” drone received a GoPro Hero 5 after its recall, it did not have the same functions as a drone but it was going to take away the bad taste of GoPros’ failure.

In GoPros’ store we can see that the stock of the “Karma” drones is non-existent, they will be back for next years’ winter with much more functions and features, and GoPro will focus more on design and performance than the camera. Although the camera is the main attraction of the GoPro drone, it is not unique … Many of the competing companies have already included this in their drones such as Phantom 4, Voyager and even Parrot with its new Bebop 2, all these companies are already overtaking GoPro and if GoPro wants to compete, it should think of something beyond the “Karma” drone.

Features to improve

Despite it being the first drone of GoPro, some functions should not have been ignored, a drone should be as compact as possible, with good stability and control. GoPro did not comply with many required features and they should improve these aspects for their next launch. It is true that GoPro was not going to let us down with its foldable camera embedded in the drone but that was not going to cover up for the functions that they lacked.

One of the many complaints from users is its poor battery, the “Karma” drone only lasts for 20 minutes and it should have greater capacity if it wants to compete with other companies since its’ cost (800 Euros ) is somewhat similar to that of the competition (Parrot, Walkera, DJI, among others …). Also the lack of a tracking mode function or the simple fact that it can become unstable and parts get damaged easily. However, in the GoPro store they mention that they will replace damaged parts, such provision should not be a substitute for quality.

Estudiante de Ingeniería de Sistemas en el Instituto Universitario Politécnico Santiago Mariño en Venezuela. Redactor freelance para VOFEEL international desde 2016. Amante de la música clásica y de la tecnología. [English]: System engineering student at Santiago Mariño University. Freelancer writer for Vofeel since 2016. Classical music and technology lover.