Victory, a white-tailed eagle, is ready to fly off the top of the Eiffel Tower with a Sony Action Cam Mini. Photo: Sony/YouTube
What’s good for endangered birds of prey might actually prey on GoPro’s hold on the point-of-view camera market.
Sony’s 2-ounce Action Cam Mini has been flying high since its release in September, thanks to an organization that has been strapping the tiny HD video camera on the backs of eagles to raise awareness about threatened species.
Darshan, an imperial eagle, flew Saturday from the world’s talent building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. As he sought his handler, he gave BBC viewers a breathtaking five-minute live view before making a quick drop, following a signal to land.
It’s no secret that Apple has given some thought to wearable cameras. The company already has a patent that would crush GoPro if it ever decided to make sports cameras, but there’s not enough money in the market for Apple to even bother.
We’ll probably never get to see what Jony Ive’s perfectly designed answer to GoPro would have looked like, but our friends at Curved have been busy dreaming up the perfect action cam that works seamlessly with the iPhone and Apple Watch. Their answer is called the iPro: an action cam that looks so good, you’ll never want to beat it up.
We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.
We've coming out of our winter hibernation to an avalanche of new iPhone 6S rumors claiming Apple's next smartphone will have the biggest camera upgrade ever. There's also whispers of a 12-inch MacBook Air on the horizon, and a possible ARM-powered Mac in the next year.
Step up to the crystal ball and find out which of these rumors is most likely to come true in 2015.
The Rumor: Your iMacs and MacBooks will be powered by ARM processors in 1 - 2 years/
The Verdict Not likely to happen yet. Ming Chi Kuo, aka “the world’s most accurate Apple analyst” has been wrong a time or two, and I think this is time he’s way off. Ditching Intel chips has been rumored forever. It still doesn’t make sense, as Apple would be sacrificing a lot of processing power for modest battery gains. It could happen in the next five years, but Kuo’s prediction that we’ll see an ARM powered MacBook in the next year sounds too soon to be true.
The Verdict: Sounds almost too good to be true, but we’ve heard this year’s camera upgrade will be the biggest ever. The iPhone is now the 2nd most popular camera brand in the world. Adding optical zoom and better image quality might be enough convince most users to never buy a regular camera again.
The Verdict Apple is not making a wearable camera. Not because it couldn’t make a kickass wearable camera that’s even better than GoPro, but because there’s just not enough money in the wearable cameras market. If Apple can’t sell tens of millions of units of a product every quarter there’s no point in making it. GoPro investors can rest easy for another year.
The Verdict Probably not going to happen. There are so many more parts that could break and need repair if Apple moved to a spring loaded joystick/home button. We still haven’t seen any iPhone gaming cases take off, and this is certainly an intriguing idea, but this patent is mostly likely a glimpse into an alternative Apple universe we’ll never see.
The Rumor: Apple already lined up a new a sapphire supplier.
The Verdict Too early to tell. Ever since GTAT went belly up Apple’s been hunting for a new sapphire supplier. Previous rumors have claimed Foxconn will step in, while a recent Wall Street Journal report points to Apple supplier Desay as the possible GTAT replacement. The company already makes sapphire displays for its smartphones. Maybe the S in iPhone 6S will stand for “sapphire.”
The Rumor:2GB of RAM will be the new standard on the iPhone 6S.
The Verdict The odds of the iPhone 6S getting 2GB of RAM is incredibly likely. We’re not expecting a design overall on the 6S, but there should be plenty of big internal upgrades. The iPhone 6 only has 1GB of RAM. Doubling it will certainly make it wicked fast, and all those new Metal-coded games will look better than ever.
The Verdict Count on it, but not until 2016. Foxconn is reportedly dedicating an entire factory to pumping out OLED displays for iPhones and Apple wearables. Mass production probably won’t start until 2016, which will come just in time for Apple to swap out the iPhone 6s’ LCD display with a thinner, brighter OLED beauty.
GoPro shares have dropped 42 percent since hitting an all-time high in October. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac
Shares of GoPro stock plummeted as much as 15% this afternoon after it was announced that Apple was awarded a patent that could put the wearable camera company in serious trouble.
Apple was granted a series of 34 patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today relating to a camera system that can be mounted to helmets and scuba masks and controlled remotely. That patent specifically mentions weaknesses in GoPro’s system, which has sent investors worrying that Apple is aiming to crush the sports camera giant.
GoPro has become the camera-of-choice for adventurers to document their wild and crazy stunts, and now all the action-packed drama captured by your GoPro can be broadcast live, so all your buddies can watch along as you soar over mountains in your wingsuit.
Who needs to go out outside this week? Not us: We have headphones, a home-monitoring video camera, a robot to clean the floors and a keyboard that sleeps on your desk, all ready to play with your iDevices. Determined to leave the house? Take the GoPro PowerPole with you and then offload the footage to a new wireless, battery-powered hard drive from Western Digital.
Forget fiddling with those little magnetic iPhone lenses – the Sony QX1 puts proper E-mount Sony lenses onto your iPhone or iPad. It’s actually a tiny camera that clips onto your iDevice, complete with 20.1 MP sensor and even a pop-up flash, and works in concert with the iPhone via Wi-Fi and a companion app. $400
You could buy these new B&W cans and never switch them on, they look that good. But they should sound good too, with huge drivers that “work like those in a hi-fi speaker” (whatever that means), a sweet padded headband and some shiny silver parts on the outside. The Series 2 even comes with a detachable cable with an inline mic for your iPhone. $300
Now you can buy the best paper notebook anywhere in the world – almost. The Baron Fig Confidant notebook now ships internationally, so anyone can enjoy its superior design, from the cloth-bound cover to the clever dot-grid paper to the fold-flat design that stays open on the table to the slightly wider aspect ratio for more comfy writing and sketching. And still just $16.
Dyson’s first robot vacuum cleaner uses a panoramic cyclops eye up on top of the mercifully muted body to map out your rooms to the millimeter. A full-width brush teases dust out of carpets, and the cyclone separates dirt and dust. It runs for up to half an hour before returning to its dock to recharge, and you can even remote control it from iOS and Android apps. $TBA
It’s called the PowerPole, but that’s not even the best thing about it. The PowerPole takes the useless space inside telescopic 17-30-inch GoPro mount and fills it with batteries, enough for eight continuous hours of shooting. The aluminum pole also has a pair of USB ports for charging other gear. $119
The Logitech K480 is a different take on keyboards for mobile. It sits on your desk, waiting for your devices to dock in its slot, and then performs double duty as a stand and as a Bluetooth keyboard. A twisting knob selects between three paired devices, and the K480 has keys for Windows and Mac. The slot is big enough for a tablet and a phone together and it runs on a pair of AAA batteries. $50
The only way the Shutter Button could be more minimal is if it ditched the fashion stylings and came in plain silver. It’s a Bluetooth remote shutter release for iOS and other devices, and it works by masquerading as a volume switch. Therefore, no companion app is required – any camera, even the built-in one, can work with it as long as the app allows you to take a photo using the iPhone’s own volume switch. From $29.
This 1TB/2TB USB 3.0 drive packs a Wi-Fi radio and an SD card slot, making it the most useful pocket hard drive, like, ever. It works with your Mac of course, but also your iPad and iPhone. You can connect up to eight devices, use it as an Internet-sharing Wi-Fi hub and even stream movies to your iPad. The battery lasts six hours for video (20 hours on standby) and you can back up photos direct to the drive using the SD card slot. From $180.
Withings has long been able to track your body with its smart scales and health monitors. Now it tracks your home with this Internet-connected camera. The Home records 1080p video and can alert you to movement via the iPhone app. It works as a security camera, but also as a life-cam, with a timeline mode that lets you make a video diary. It even monitors the air quality inside your home, and works as a baby monitor. If it made breakfast too, I’d marry it. $220
With ski season closer than you can believe, it’s time to start drooling over the amazing HD footage out there on the web. So you can dream away your workday with these moving images, you’ll need to check out this amazing footage from four powder fanatics who used only Go Pro cameras to film their fresh exploits across the coolest drops in Hokkaido, Japan, Pemberton, British Columbia and Mt. Hood, Oregon.
Check out the extreme shots below and start gathering your lift tickets, high-end goggles and ski wax.
The Stubilizer is an accelerometer-and gyroscope-controlled mount for GoPro cameras, and it’s designed to smooth out shaky video shot with the action sports cam. Designed by extreme sports junkie Stuart Smith, the rig is small and light enough to mount ion a helmet, and it uses little motors so it doesn’t’ need giant cantilevers and counterweights.
Apple was notably absent from the Super Bowl ad slots Sunday, but a new video touting the Mac’s transformative power is quickly making Cupertino the most talked-about company the morning after the big game. The impressive clip continues the Mac’s 30th-anniversary celebration, and it was shot entirely on iPhones in 15 locations across five continents.