10 anni di GoPro

Geek   02.10.13  

Questa è la storia del successo dell'action camera più famosa del mondo che ha rivoluzionato il modo di riprendere gli sport estremi. E non solo.

The smartphone revolution has all but obliterated devices whose sole function is capturing images. Icons like Kodak and Polaroid got walloped; camcorders, like the once-posh Flip cam, went out of style; and sales of point-and-shoot digital cameras -- which once made obsolete traditional film cameras and drive-thru Fotomats -- plummeted, too.

Given all of this rapid obsoletion and general destruction in the photo industry, you might think that the idea of a brand-new camera maker emerging from nowhere in 2002, offering its first device in 2004, and not only surviving, but thriving, in 2013, seems like a pretty remote possibility. And yet, that's exactly what the ubiquitous action sports pioneer GoPro has accomplished.

GoPro's success has been so pronounced, and yet so unflashy, that it is easy to forget that the company launched and flourished just at the moment that digital cameras began to get crushed by Apple, Samsung and various other competing camera-phones. But GoPro -- which Tuesday announced an updated version of its flagship camera, the Hero 3+, along with a new batch of ancillary products -- sold a reported 2.3 million cameras last year alone, to the tune of $521 million. Its founder, Nick Woodman, is a billionaire. With 6.3 million Facebook likes, the camera originally associated with the extreme-sports crowd has exited the skate park, with cultish fans putting its products to a huge range of uses (and uploading the results to YouTube).

Aside from the familiar array of action-sport-style activities -- when Red Bull’s Felix Baumgartner parachuted down from space, he wore a GoPro -- people have attached them to remote-control helicopters and consumer-oriented drones. There are dog POV videos, of course, and plenty of other animals, too. There was the guy who attached one to his trombone. Here’s a picture of a dentist from inside somebody's mouth. Here’s what it looks like to race lawnmowers in the snow.

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