While GoPro might be the most popular ultra-portable and relatively inexpensive "action camera," it's certainly not the only game in town. Contour, a Seattle company just under a thousand miles away from GoPro's Bay Area headquarters, actually started their own action camera right around the same time as the original GoPro. A lot has changed in the decade since, but it looks like the competition has finally brought down Contour.
If you've forgotten the quality of the camera compared to GoPro, here is a Gizmodo review from December:
Last Friday, according to employees who were not notified, the doors to the Contour offices were locked (thanks to Dustin for the info). According to Geekwire, Jason Green, one of the co-founders of Contour who was working in product development and engineering, believed "the decision was financially responsible and prudent." He also said this about what they were working on:
“The things we had lined up for (2013 and 2014) were the best things we had ever done, by a pretty long shot,” said Green via phone this afternoon. “We weren’t done showing the world what we could do.”
He said he didn’t want to provide a sense of false hope, but added, “There’s a part of me that looks at what we’ve got and has some resolve. I don’t know what the future holds, but I don’t see it being void of everything we’ve done or all the people who’ve done it. There’s just too much potential there.”
It's unclear where the company goes from here, and if this is really it. While the closure may or may not be totally related to the dominance of GoPro, that company has become a household name (no doubt helped in part by their advertising). The other co-founder, Marc Barros, stepped down earlier in the year, and mentioned the competition with their Bay Area rival in a blog post:
At Contour we were winning. But most of the time it felt like we were losing. Despite making what many thought was the best product on the market, the gap between us and GoPro wasn’t shrinking, it was increasing. With each incremental dollar in revenue they gained, the gap widened as they plowed that money back into marketing, forever separating the recognition in consumers’ minds.
We'll let you know if there is any update on the status of the company.
What do you guys think? Do you own or have you used Contour products before?