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05 October 2023

Apple rumour gives GoPro run for its money

Rumour itself is result of Kodak patent assigned to Apple by USPTO for digital camera system. (Supplied)

By Joseph George

A new rumour that Apple could be working on an action cam has caused jitters among the competitors. The rumour itself is a result of a Kodak patent that was assigned to Apple by the USPTO for a digital camera system that can be controlled by a remote control – or possibly an Apple watch.

The result was panic among rivals. According to media reports, Go Pro shares declined by about 12 per cent by the end of trading on Tuesday.

“If this is what a rumour about an impending Apple product could do, what could happen if Apple does launch an action cam of its own,” wonders Ritesh, an ardent Apple fan and a Go pro owner in Dubai.

Meanwhile the USPTO published a list of 32 new patents that were awarded to Apple and it includes the one for an image capture module and a remote control module.

According to the patent, the new camera system could be fixed to various objects including a helmet, cycle, scuba device or any other sporting or outdoor kit, clearly indicating that it could go after the action cam manufacturers like GoPro.

In fact the patent document even mentions Go pro by name.

“It is known to provide rugged digital capture devices that can be secured to various objects, such as a bike helmet or scuba mask, or mounted to the handlebars of a motorcycle or the front of a surfboard,” the document says, and goes on to give an example of the GoPro HD Hero2 digital cameras, sold by GoPro Inc, as part of an "Outdoor edition" package.

“However, the HD Hero2 camera includes only a single image capture system, which captures images using an optical axis directed outward from the "front" of the camera. This can cause excessive wind resistance and presents a high profile that is more susceptible to damage and image artefacts from vibrations in some situations.”

The present invention it says incorporates an image capture module includes an image capture system and a first wireless communication system. The remote control module includes a status display with one or more status display elements for displaying status information pertaining to the image capture module, a battery-operated power supply, one or more user controls, a second wireless communication, and a power management system providing a normal-power state and a low-power state,” the introduction to the patent document reads.

According to it the system is configured such that when a user activates one of the user controls while the remote control module is in the low-power state the remote control module is set to operate in the normal-power state, a status inquiry is sent to the image capture module, and returned status information is displayed on the status display.