GoPro, already the world’s established leader in action cameras, is moving forward into two growing markets: drones and virtual reality.
At the Code Conference in California, CEO Nick Woodman announced the company would now be building its own quadcopter drones. If entering the drone market wasn’t enough, the camera-maker will also be using the 360 footage captured from the drones to create content for a virtual reality helmet.
With the global market for consumer drones forecast to top $300 million by 2018, according to the U.S. Consumer Electronics Association, GoPro appears to be making its move at the right time.
The San Mateo, CA company will hope that the enthusiasm exhibited from the top for the quadcopters, specifically its CEO Woodman, will trickle down to consumers.
“Quads plus GoPro has been one of the most democratising combinations in terms of enabling people to capture professional quality content and see themselves in their environment in a way that they’d never seen before,” Woodman said. “It looks like you’re in your own movie.”
GoPro may also be crucial to Google’s competitive power in the virtual reality sphere. Google’s low budget virtual reality platform Cardboard will be pitted against highly anticipated headsets like Oculus VR’s Rift and HTC’s Vive. In a new project called “Jump,” GoPro has partnered with Google to bring 360-degree videos to YouTube, and with the potential for quadcopter drones to carry those new 360-degree cameras, this could be a very lucrative partnership for both companies involved.
Silk Road founder sentenced to life
In 2013, an illegal, online drug marketplace by the name of Silk Road was shut down and its founder, Ross Ulbricht, arrested. Two years later, Ulbricht has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of operating the site since 2011.
Silk Road allowed users to anonymously purchase drugs such as heroin with virtual currencies, along with other illegal items like stolen passports and hacking equipment. Federal prosecutors have said that the site sold more than $200 million worth of drugs, with just under a million registered users.
Ulbricht made his plea to the judge: “I’ve essentially ruined my life and broken the hearts of every member of my family and my closest friends,” he said. “I know you must take my middle years, but please leave me my old age.”
His requests fell on deaf ears, as the judge in this trial is using Ulbricht as an example that crimes online will be treated no less harshly than if they were conducted in real life, setting a tough precedent to deter other cyber criminals.
Google unveils Android M
Google unveiled some key features of its new version of Android, dubbed Android M, at its annual developer conference in San Francisco this week.
One of the primary changes in the new Android system is a new smart wallet service called Android Pay. which is a renewed attempt to get the concept of tap-and-go payments to catch hold with consumers.
Android M should also help with a phone’s battery life through a feature called “Doze,” which will suspend any apps that the phone senses are being unused (while still leaving important functions like alarms running).
Machine learning was also a repeatedly addressed concept at the I/O conference, in other words an improved voice recognition capability that can overlook mispronunciations or accents. “Machine learning is what helps us answer the question what does a tree frog look like from millions of users around the world,” Google SVP Sundar Pichai said.
The new operating system also shores up Android’s security flaws in a variety of areas.
Android M will reach Google’s own Nexus line of phones and tablets later this year.
Here are the top five highlights of the google developer conference.