GoPro just introduced its first professional virtual reality (VR) camera a few weeks ago, but the company’s CEO Nick Woodman is already thinking about how to sell the same kind of technology to consumers. “We think GoPro has an opportunity to be a leader in consumer VR,” Woodman said during GoPro’s Q1 2016 earnings call Thursday. “Our brand and our reputation directly translate into virtual reality,” he said.
GoPro began taking pre-orders for its Omni VR camera last month. Omni VR consists of six GoPro Hero4 cameras, which are synchronized and ship with a dedicated remote as well as battery packs and other accessories. All of that doesn’t come cheap: Omni VR is currently priced at $5000, and won’t ship until August of this year.
GoPro also started to deliver a 16-camera virtual reality rig dubbed Odyssey that it has developed in partnership with Google to select producers. The Odyssey has an even heftier $15,000 price tag, but Woodman tried to assure analysts Thursday that proice for VR cameras will eventually come down. “As you see those products get smaller, you can see which direction we are heading for consumers,” promised Woodman.
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Turning VR capture devices into mass-market products could be key for the company as it deals with waning interest in its action cam products. Woodman made its remarks as the company delivered another quarter of bad results to investors, with revenue declining close to 50 percent year-over year from $363.1 million to $183.5 million.
GoPro management attributed much of this to slowing sales to stores, which still had a lot of inventory in stock after a disappointing holiday quarter. Still, on the balance sheet, numbers didn’t look good, with GoPro booking a net loss of $86.7 million, compared to $35.6 million net income a year ago.
And GoPro had further bad news for investors: Karma, the company’s long-anticipated entry into the drone market, is being delayed; Woodman said that the company was fine-tuning the drone’s technology, which forced the company to move its expected shipping date from the first half of this year to the holiday quarter.