BMW, Timecode Systems, and more leap into the GoPro Developer Program

GoPro Periscope app
(Screenshot source: GoPro)

Want to add GoPro connectivity to your app? Now, you can, thanks to the new GoPro Developer Program.

GoPro this month launched its GoPro Developer Program as part of an effort "to develop a seamless user experience between [developers'] products and GoPro products," according to the company. 

Ultimately, the program could impact mobile developers in a number of ways, too.

What is the GoPro Developer Program?

The GoPro Developer Program comes on the heels of a successful year for GoPro, as the action cameras provider experienced 16 percent year-over-year revenue growth in 2015. 

Nick Woodman, GoPro

Woodman (Screenshot: GoPro)

However, GoPro CEO Nick Woodman noted his company's growth slowed in the second half of last year, due in part to its inability to "develop software solutions that make it easier for [GoPro] customers to offload, access and edit their GoPro content."

Enter the GoPro Developer Program, an initiative that gives app, device and product developers new toolsets they can use to integrate GoPro capabilities into their existing offerings and develop new GoPro offerings as well.

Woodman said the GoPro Developer Program celebrates the developer community, empowering participating developers with toolkits they can use to create new offerings that leverage GoPro functionality.

For mobile developers, GoPro is enabling them to design and deploy apps that connect with GoPro cameras. These developers also have the ability to add GoPro functionality to their existing apps, including GoPro features such as live video previews and media management capabilities. 

"We want to make our cameras more user-friendly," a GoPro spokesperson told FierceDeveloper. "Now, we'll be able to provide new and cool ways to use our cameras."

GoPro also launched a companion program, Works with GoPro, in conjunction with its GoPro Developer Program.

Works with GoPro provides developers with additional marketing support, including the use of the Works with GoPro logo. That way, developers can take advantage of GoPro's brand reputation as they promote their new apps, devices and products that feature GoPro capabilities. 

Access to software, hardware toolkits

Developers will receive access to GoPro's developer toolkits as part of the GoPro Developer Program.

These toolkits include:

  • Camera toolkit for iOS and Android -- Allows developers to add GoPro camera wireless connectivity to their apps.

  • Mechanical toolkit -- Enables device and product developers to create solutions to attach GoPro cameras to their offerings.

In addition, GoPro Developer Program participants may be able to access Developer Program Labs, which hosts projects designed for developer exploration of new use cases and experimentation.

As such, Developer Program Labs projects may foster greater creativity among developers, resulting in distinct offerings that utilize GoPro functionality in new and exciting ways.

"It'll take the collective genius of our community to find new ways to use GoPro cameras," a GoPro spokesperson said. "We're always looking for new use cases for our customers to utilize our cameras."

Making a cross-vertical impact

As part of the GoPro Developer Program launch event, 34 companies from various industry verticals showcased a variety of GoPro-compatible implementations.

BMW's M-Laptimer app (Source: BMW)

For example, BMW unveiled its M-Laptimer app, which records a car's telemetry data, speed, location and video from GoPro cameras.

Christian Schmid, senior advanced technology engineer at BMW Group Technology Office USA, told FierceDeveloper that his company began working with GoPro in 2013.

He also pointed out BMW plans to continue to collaborate with GoPro via the GoPro Developer Program.

"Both companies are in constant contact regarding new technologies and ways of collaboration," Schmid said.

Timecode Systems, a company that specializes in timecode generators, receivers and transceivers, showcased its SyncBac PRO app at GoPro's program launch event.

This app synchronizes GoPro cameras "for seamless integration into professional television and film workflows," Timecode Systems noted.

"SyncBac PRO is a customized timecode solution that makes GoPro HERO4 cameras completely compatible with the Timecode Systems wireless workflow system," Laura Johnson, Timecode Systems' PR and Marketing Director, told FierceDeveloper. "This not only enables GoPro footage to integrate seamlessly into a professional television and film workflow, but also creates an opportunity for us to offer the full capability of our system to all GoPro users."

With the GoPro Developer Program, Timecode Systems has been able to extend the functionality of its timecode solution.

Timecode Systems products

Timecode's integrated time coding solution for TV and film makers. (Source: Timecode Systems)

"Timecode has historically had a reputation as a 'professionals only' tool; SyncBac PRO now makes it accessible and attractive to the prosumer world of filmmakers," Johnson added.

A two-tiered approach

Developers can apply for the GoPro Developer Program at any time and enroll in one of two tiers:

  • Developer -- For $99 annually, developers can receive access to released toolkits, beta toolkits and up to three support cases per year.

  • Premium Developer -- Priced at $999 annually, premium developers can access the Developer Program Labs, along with the same benefits provided to standard GoPro Developer Program participants.

After a developer joins the GoPro Developer Program, he or she can submit apps that include GoPro functionality for approval. GoPro will review each submission based on use case and other criteria during its review process, according to a company spokesperson. 

Meanwhile, GoPro remains committed to innovation, and its new developer program may encourage developers to design and deploy innovative offerings that include GoPro functionality. 

"We always want to be innovating," a GoPro spokesperson told FierceDeveloper. "And with our developer program, we want our developers to be creating things that are significantly different what we already offer."