So what is GoPro Labs? GoPro, the creator of popular action cameras, including the recently reviewed HERO8, created a hub for you to try out experimental features with GoPro cameras. Essentially, GoPro is sharing the keys to the kingdom with GoPro Labs before a feature could potentially hit the market.
The first two GoPro Labs rollouts are a QR Code based camera controls and optimization of the rolling shutter in the HERO8 for better use in ReelSteady GO (which was acquired by GoPro). The QR codes that can be generated include a variety of functions that have been frequently requested, such as motion detection, timecode sync, and long time-lapses.
"GoPro Labs is a lower engineering-cost way to release experimental features and test what is really useful," shares GoPro Technical Fellow, David Newman. "The plan us to offer more through Labs whenever new features are ready."
How can the GoPro Labs help filmmakers?
The GoPro Labs offer a variety of ways to help set up capturing footage. Using the QR codes, cameras can record time-based time-lapses (e.g. "only film from 6:00am-8:00am every day"), motion-based capture (starting capture only when motion occurs in front of the camera, which would be great for a nature documentary) and more. Seing as QR codes can be used in areas without Wi-Fi, they can be applied to a variety of film setups.
The example shared on the GoPro Labs launch page included a literal launch: a synced set up to capture a rocket launch. All can be set up using the QR codes, which is a quick way of implementing the features. "The QR Codes help the ease in adding new features, without crowding the existing camera menus, or requiring a mobile App change," Newman shared by email. "[The] Labs features are enabled through QR Codes, as that makes Labs more nimble."
As for the rolling shutter optimization, if you use the GoPro with a drone, ReelSteady GO promises additional stabilization beyond GoPro's HyperSmooth.
What does this mean for the future?
While these features may never make it into an official camera-wide firmware release, GoPro wanted the community to be able to use them. Speaking of community, users are invited to post about their successes (or struggles) with the features and also suggest future ones.
If you're looking jump into the lab, head to the GoPro Lab Launch page to find out more.