Will this be a much-needed win for the action camera creator, or will it take another L? 

The last time GoPro went head-to-head with DJI, the karma really wasn’t there. The drone giant had a lock on the industry, and the action camera company nearly lost it all as a result. 

Now, it looks like GoPro is ready for round two, this time with a modular pocket camera design. 

A New GoPro Future?

The GoPro Karma drone was a valiant attempt at breaking into the drone market. With a modular grip design, the Karma had its pros and cons. The latter was a battery issue that prompted a very expensive recall, ultimately dooming the UAV platform and forcing GoPro to return to what it knew—the action camera.

Now, three years later, with a patent for a modular pocket design, it looks like GoPro is ready to take a crack at DJI’s dominance once again, this time with a design that seems to have the spirit of its Karma grip at its heart.

GoPro Camera Patent Side by SideCredit: United States Patent and Trademark Office

GoPro’s patent, which was published on March 10, shows a familiar, yet smaller battery grip design, but with a modular camera/gimbal add-on sliding into it. 

Together, they look like a stockier version of the DJI pocket camera. Moreover, with the camera’s module architecture, it makes one wonder if GoPro is thinking of expanding the hardware for a potential Hero accessory. 

But why? GoPro’s HyperSmooth has proven that a gimbal isn’t really necessary with the action camera, and that’s what makes this design patent somewhat of a mystery.

DJI Pocket 2DJI Pocket 2Credit: DJI

On the other hand, using mechanical stabilization along with HyperSmooth could be the combination that separates this new camera from DJI and lures those who like to move the camera to consider a GoPro alternative. 

GoPro recently let it be known it is looking to expand its brand offerings with new designs, and a pocket camera certainly positions them to accomplish the goal of providing more tools for GoPro users. 

The trick is to expand what the term “GoPro user” means moving forward. With the mention of professional platforms and now this pocket design, the idea of GoPro meaning an extreme sports image only would be short-sighted.

Good Karma or Bad Karma?

As with all patents, you have to take everything you see with a grain of salt. But ultimately, competition is good for everyone. It raises the bar and lowers the price, which the consumer benefits from. 

In that regard, having GoPro once again nipping at DJI’s heels is a good thing.

And who knows? Maybe Karma will slowly make its way back, even if only in spirit.

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