A GoPro device featuring 16 cameras, to be used with Google's "Jump," to provide viewers with 360-degree video, is shown during the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco, California Reuters/Robert Galbraith

The best action camera is getting an upgrade. GoPro confirmed that it will be launching new cameras this 2017, headlined by the GoPro Hero6, the successor of the current flagship Hero5. Company CEO Nick Woodman made the announcement, but did not elaborate on what to expect from the upcoming action camera in terms of specs or release details.

“We can confirm there will be new cameras and other accessories released during the year and a new camera namely being Hero6,” said Woodman during GoPro’s financial earnings call. “We’re not going to share any information as to the timing or any other details around the release of those new products.”

The announcement is somewhat surprising due to the fact that the GoPro Hero5 was launched just a few months ago. The company’s revenue as of late has also been below par from what was projected. Consumers have simply run out of reasons to buy new Hero cameras as most users of older models turn down the opportunity to upgrade their units due to the simple fact that they’re working just fine. Owners of Hero cameras don’t upgrade their GoPro devices as often as their mobile phones.

The GoPro Hero5 Black was launched back in September 2016 to great reviews. The small but powerful Hero5 Black has only two operating buttons so it’s easy to use. It’s also the first GoPro camera to accept voice commands, allowing users to take pictures and record videos effortlessly.

The GoPro Hero5 Black furnishes a 2-inch touchscreen display (another first among GoPro action cameras) which lets users preview images, watch recorded videos and tweak preferences. It’s also the first Hero model with built-in GPS that can automatically capture user location and instantly tag content. The Hero5 Black is also waterproof and can be submerged underwater 33 feet deep without an external housing. With all those features, an upgrade does seem impractical, unless the upcoming Hero6 has otherworldly new enhancements.

Woodman also stated that despite GoPro’s annual losses, which amounts to US$116 million (AU$152 million), the company believes in the potential of its other services, including its cloud storage platform. GoPro will continue to push through with such initiatives this year.

“In 2016, big investment in hardware, cloud and mobile yielded a solid foundational experience for our customers,” said Woodman. “In 2017, we will build on this foundation for our customers while improving efficiency and managing cost to achieve profitability.”

GoPro also hopes that the relaunching of the Karma drone will be nothing short of a success. Units of the infamous drone had to be recalled last November just over two weeks after it was launched due to a battery issue. The new and improved GoPro Karma drone sells for US$799.99 (AU$1054.99) while units bundled with the Hero5 Black cost US$1,099.99 (AU$1,449.99).


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