What’s new with GoPro Labs ft. HERO10 Black Bones + Walt Disney Animations Studio


GoPro Labs has hosted some of GoPro’s most exciting innovations that have become camera features since the launch of the program in 2020. And it’s recently enjoyed its well-deserved place in the GoPro spotlight with new collaborations (which we’ll discuss below), while also playing a vital role in controlling GoPro’s first-ever FPV camera, HERO10 Black Bones.


Just over two years ago, GoPro Laboratories was internal only and a way for employees to test beta camera features born out of GoPro Hackathon ideas. Today, it’s a public program where external GoPro owners can submit feature requests, such as the ability to record video for longer periods of time or motion detection improvements. It is the job of GoPro Labs to find ways to turn these demands into reality and put them in the hands of the Labs community. via opt-in firmware which adds experimental features to the user’s GoPro.


There are now over 100 enhancements ready for Labs users. And in recent months, as the pace of innovation at Labs has accelerated, it’s clear the program will continue to play a vital role in the broader experience of owning and using a GoPro camera.


“Labs is home to the cutting-edge user who wants some really cool stuff that you can’t find in the main GoPro firmware release,” said David Newman, GoPro Technical Fellow and Head of GoPro Labs. “And it’s growing, really fast.”


The GoPro Labs community is global, its forums are buzzing with users asking for new features every week, and David, who scours the forums for cool features he can integrate into GoPro Labs software, is there to answer their calls.


“We get two or three new feature requests a month from users,” says David. “Whenever we can add the feature, we do. Sometimes it only takes a few hours and sometimes a few weeks. And since these are often great features, there is a good chance that the feature will not be available only on Labs and is never incorporated into mainstream firmware available to the general public.”


But that’s the beauty of Labs – it’s an insider’s look at the innovative features our top engineers play with.

Laboratories become mainstream

GoPro’s first FPV drone camera, HERO10 Black Bones, launched in April and, in addition to being the lightest GoPro ever, it’s the first camera to launch with GoPro Labs firmware already built-in. on camera. Indeed, the Labs firmware allows FPV users to control this analyzed camera – better known as the “naked GoPro” – via a QR code, which they can access and create. online here.


“It’s a great moment for Labs,” says David. “Launching Bones with Labs sends the message that we as a company recognize the cutting edge GoPro user and want them to have a great product out of the box.”

You want it? Laboratories will create it

While most of the innovation added through GoPro Labs comes from GoPro engineers, not too long ago David was contacted by someone with a request that only GoPro Labs could satisfy.


That someone was JD Vandenberg, director of post-production at Walt Disney Animation Studios. David was immediately intrigued by the confusing request: how does an animation studio use a GoPro camera and where is the Labs connection? He immediately followed.


JD shared the following:


At Walt Disney Animation Studios, we use cameras primarily to record animation reference video – this may include voice recording sessions, dance and choreography, or specific actions such as playing a musical instrument – and it’s not uncommon to use three or four cameras per shoot. . For maximum benefit to our animators and artists, it is absolutely imperative that the camera is running at exactly 24 frames per second in order to sync properly with the audio.


Although all HERO cameras offer 24 frames per second (fps) modes, they conform to the more common broadcast standard of exactly 23.976 fps, not the high-end film standard of 24.0 fps .


This proved to be an ideal solution for labs, and a few small camera performance tweaks easily solved the new customer need. About three weeks later, JD and his team were testing Labs’ 24.0 fps support on their HERO10 Black cameras. And, we couldn’t be happier that GoPro now offers true 24fps support.


It’s this ability to quickly take advantage of community-requested features that makes GoPro Labs such a compelling program for so many people. Options like additional time-lapse features or the simple ability to add name and phone number data to video captures may be all people use GoPro Labs for. But sometimes they might find a more technical favorite feature, like the ability to start recording when a GoPro attached to a drone hears a sound threshold (rotor start) or recording on motion detection based. And labs can easily produce them, because that’s what they’re designed for: testing innovations.


More recently, GoPro Labs, in partnership with Tentacle Sync, allows users to timecode synchronization cameras via QR Code.


“We are betas by nature,” says David. “Think of GoPro Labs as a way for you to get a taste of the innovative features our top engineers are playing with.”


Visit GoPro.com/Labs to access Labs firmware, create QR codes and join the discussion forum.


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