Finally, the GoPro Karma drone is back on sale on GoPro’s website and a few selected retailers nations wide.
Last November GoPro pulled their Karma Drone from shelves over a a mechanical issue on how the battery was stored, which when it malfunctioned caused the drone to lose power and drop from the sky. Of course GoPro has fix this problem and is hope the Karma drone can offer some new competition in the market.
However, the price is still about the same as when it came out in November–$800 for the drone itself and $1,100 for the drone with a GoPro Hero 5 camera (which makes it comparable in price to a Phantom 4).
GoPro reported 4th quarter sales of $541 million, which was $33 million short of Wall Street’s estimate, so they definitely has an uphill battle. They have already closed their entertainment division and let go of 200 employees. Some analysts think that bringing the Karma back is just an attempt to boost sales numbers a little to reduce Wall Street pressure.
Hopefully, GoPro can make things work, so they can reverse the trend of American drone companies failing to properly bring a consumer drone to market. But still if you ask for the advice of the Drone Dossier team, it is still better to spend your money on a DJI drone.
Speaking of DJI drones, the Daily Dot is having a DJI drone giveaway. All you have to do is create an account with them to enter.
CNET published a list of drones from the CES 2017 in Las Vegas that wrapped up January 8th. While the list of 23 drones is not a comprehensive review of what is going on in the drone industry, it does provide some insight into trends in consumer drones.
Drones that have a ‘follow me’ me function have been hot for a while, but what we see developing now is versions of these kind of drones that are small, foldable and are referred to as ‘selfie drones’.
Basically, these drones open up a new way to share on social networks. While this trend could have legs the team at Drone Dossier is much more excited that normal consumer drones are starting to offer standard packages that have more than attached camera and video capabilities.
A number of drones at the CES, including the Yuneec H520, have options that include thermal cameras. While LIDAR and other sensors are still too expensive to include, this is definitely an exciting development for drone functionality. In a lot of ways a drone is just a flying platform for different types of sensors and as more types of sensors become affordable the capabilities of consumer drones will increase.
CNET’s list also brings up the work of two companies—GoPro and Chinese mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi. At the CES, GoPro announced that they had found the reason behind the problems with their Karma drone (faulty battery clip) and said that in February they would release more information about the future of their failed drone. This could mean that Karma will go back on the market. Chinese company Xiaomi showed off their ‘Mi Drone’ which they launched in July. Xiaomi is taking the same approach was there mobile phones by loading their drones with a lot of features at a low price.