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GoPro Launches Developer Program

The company will support companies making apps, devices, mounts, and housings that integrate with its action cameras.

GoPro Launches Developer Program
[Photo: Flickr user Eelke]

A day after poaching a leading Apple designer—a move that sent its stock roaring up 19%—GoPro announced the public launch of its developer program.

The initiative, which was quietly rolled out with a few partners a year ago, is aimed at offering official support of third-party companies that want to build products with seamless GoPro integration.

GoPro clearly hopes a program like this will help kick-start its business prospects. Over the last year, its stock has plummeted from a high of $65.49 to a low of $9.01. In recent weeks, it’s been bouncing around between $11 and $14, hardly what investors had in mind when the leading action camera company went public in June 2014. In January, the company laid off about 100 people, or 7% of its workforce. Many have speculated that the poor stock performance over the last year has been due to poor sales of its Hero 4 Session camera.

Developers taking part in the new effort can take advantage of three types of integration.

First is having their mobile apps connect directly with GoPro cameras, bringing camera command and control, media management, and live video preview to those apps.

Second is the ability for developers to build devices that can connect with GoPro cameras either physically or wirelessly via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Those devices would then have camera command and control, video management, and other controls.

Finally, third parties will be able to build mounting and housing products that specifically meet GoPro specifications, much like Apple licenses some outside companies to make cases or cables for its computers or iOS devices.

To date, 100 companies have joined the developer program. Among them are BMW, which has build an app called M-Laptimer that allows racing enthusiasts to use their GoPro to automatically record car telemetry data and video. Toymaker Fisher-Price is developing GoPro-compatible child-friendly housing and mounts for a series of new toys.

And GoPro’s initiative is launching with a certification program called Works with GoPro that offers third-party companies integrated marketing help and an official logo.

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