GoPro is finally looking to enter into the burgeoning virtual reality industry.
The first step in this new foray is the company’s acquisition of Kolor, a French firm that develops VR software.
Kolor’s staff are due to remain at their offices in Savoie, France, but will work on VR tech under the GoPro banner from now on.
It’s not a hugely surprising venture; GoPro is well-placed to enter the 360-degree video space due to its ever-expanding range of cameras.
“We see that incredible opportunity for GoPro to be at the forefront of the virtual reality movement,” Nick Woodman, GoPro’s CEO explained.
“Given that GoPro is already the most widely used capture device for capturing life experiences in an immersive manner, it’s only natural that we have a seat at the tablet moving forward.”
Users can already buy a series of GoPro cameras, set up a 360 rig, shoot footage, and stitch it together with Kolor’s software. This merger means we’ll likely see better integration of the software into GoPro’s product package.
While 360-degree video can be viewed on a flat screen, it’s best experienced using a virtual reality headset. Now that VR is becoming mainstream, it’s a good time for GoPro to get in on the action.
Related: HTC Vive hands-on
Woodman continued: “I think that as we see more and more fantastic VR content being produced using our products and as we make it easier for professionals and prosumers to do that, there’s going to be a natural trickle down desire at the consumer level where people are going to want to capture this type of experience for themselves.”
“It’s only natural to think that they look to GoPro for virtual reality, personal virtual reality spherical content capture solutions in the future. And I think we’re well-placed to be a leader in that area,” he added.
GoPro also announced its first quarter earnings alongside the Kolor acquisition, revealing $363 million in quarterly revenue.
The company shipped 1.3 million action cameras during the period, which is up on the 852,000 sold over the same quarter last year.