GoPro Just Dropped a Crap-Ton of Experimental Features for Its Cameras

GoPro Just Dropped a Crap-Ton of Experimental Features for Its Cameras
Photo: Brent Rose/Gizmodo

Usually when a company introduces new features or updates for an existing gadget, they tend to be a bit…lacking. You may get one small update, two or three if you’re lucky. Well, buckle up GoPro fans: Today, the company is launching seven new experimental features, because why the hell not?

The new features are available for download today at the GoPro Labs website, which is where the company drops beta features that may never actually become “official.” This firmware update supports the Hero9 Black, Hero8 Black, Hero7 Black, and the GoPro Max. Some are updates to previously introduced features, like QR-code controls, while others seem to be aimed at letting users use their GoPros in more experimental ways. In any case, here’s a quick rundown of what’s launching today.

  • Camera motion triggers
  • USB Power triggers
  • Motion detection enhancements
  • Simplified live-streaming QR codes
  • Single-setting/one-button modes
  • New exposure modes
  • New QR code controls

The camera motion triggers use a GoPro’s accelerometer and/or gyroscope to start or stop capture only when it detects you’re in motion. The idea behind this is to maximise battery life and storage, as you won’t be recording footage of you just…standing somewhere figuring out what to record next. The USB Power triggers do the same, except the trigger is whenever the camera detects you’re plugged into a USB power source. According to the company, this should enable folks to use their GoPros as makeshift dashcams, which frankly sounds like a neat and economical way to repurpose an older GoPro.

Some of the updates are more passive. For example, the motion detection enhancements are basically extending that particular feature to all video modes, including the 360-degree motion detection in the GoPro Max. Likewise, the simplified live-streaming QR code just makes it faster to start a stream whenever you’re connected to wifi. As for the new QR code controls, GoPro is now adding support for 5K and the Hero9 Black’s HindSight capture feature. The new exposure modes also now allow you to set a timed exposure lock, as well as minimum shutter speeds.

Lastly, the single-setting/one-button mode essentially makes it so that all you can do on the camera is start or stop a capture. As for why you might want to do that, GoPro says it’s meant to help newbies from accidentally switching camera settings and modes while they learn how to use their devices.

In any case, in lieu of any new hardware, we love a meaty, backwards-compatible software update.