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Apple owns a lot of patents. As a technology company, that’s to be expected. Some of them involve their actual products and innovations, while others are simply concepts that will never make their way to the marketplace. The latest batch of Apple patents includes the outline for their very own waterproof action camera that would hope to take on the mighty GoPro if it were to actually come to market.
The actual patent documents go into quite a bit of detail about the nature of the camera, even going so far as to call out GoPro by name. They claim the GoPro form factor is a limiting factor and that the flatter Apple action camera would be subject to less image shake. It also talks about the remote control capabilities that would be involved with the hypothetical iAction (note: that’s not the real name, it’s just one I’m making up for this blog post). It outlines control from a watch or another device, which is something a lot of other action cams have been doing for quite some time.
Another interesting bit is the addition of an underwater microphone, which could be something that actually does set it apart from the rest. Though, it’s tough to tell how much of a selling point that would really be for most cosumers.
It looks like some of the technology for the camera is coming from when they purchased patents from Kodak. In fact, some of the diagrams even show a camera with Kodak branding.
Personally, it seems unlikely that Apple would be able to storm the action cam market and dethrone king GoPro. However, reports say that the patent alone caused GoPro stocks to drop significantly, which actually seems insane. Maybe if they had actually announced a product, I could understand the drop, but for the market to react so dramatically to the granting of a patent seems overly impulsive.
Only the future can tell, thought. There are already several strong players in the action camera market, including Sony, who have recently revamped their action cameras to capture 4K video. What would it take to get you to buy an Apple action camera?