GoPro shareholders are panicking after Apple's patent application for a wearable camera was approved. One look at Apple's plans shows why--the application details a GoPro-like wearable perfect for action shots and underwater recording. Apple even takes aim at GoPro in the patent filing.
Apple might not ever make a wearable camera, but if it does, it'll be a GoPro on steroids. The patent covers a camera that can be mounted to bike helmets and scuba masks or fastened to motorcycles and surfboards. The patent also details plans for waterproofing so an iPhone could be used to take underwater snapshots.
Apple critiqued GoPro's action cameras in the filing, specifically the HD Hero2 camera sold as part of an "Outdoor edition" bundle. In a copy of the filing obtained by PatentlyApple, Apple said the Hero2's single image capture system causes "excessive wind resistance" and has a large profile that sticks out from the camera, making it "more susceptible to damage." Apple aims to create a camera that can be used in a conventional hand-held mode and a mounted mode with high-quality results both ways.
The patent covers an image sensor, optical system, and a remote control to capture images that would enter energy-saving mode to conserve power. Apple criticized existing remote control accessories for their short battery life. A figure of the remote control accessory included with the filing and published by PatentlyApple shows a remote control camera button on a watch. If Apple follows through on its patent, you might one day control your AppleCam with Apple Watch.
GoPro shares are down more than 12 percent in light of this news.