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GoPro, Inc. (marketed as GoPro and sometimes stylised as GoPRO) is an American technology company founded in 2002 by Nick Woodman. It manufactures eponymous action cameras and develops its own mobile apps and video-editing software. Founded as Woodman Labs, Inc, the company eventually focused on the connected sports genre, developing its line of action cameras and, later, video editing software.
It developed a quadcopter drone, Karma, released in October 2016. In January 2018, Karma was discontinued and the company hired JPMorgan Chase to pursue options of selling the company. However, a month later, the CEO denied this. GoPro has continued its business in manufacturing action cameras.
The company was founded by Nick Woodman in 2002. He was motivated by a 2002 surfing trip to Australia in which he was hoping to capture quality action photos, but could not because amateur photographers could not get close enough or buy quality equipment at reasonable prices. The 'GoPro' name came about as Woodman and his surfing friends all aspired to become professional surfers as 'going pro' was the ultimate goal and the only way to be filmed on the water at that time. The camera range was branded 'Hero' as their aim was to capture close-up action shots that made the subject look like a hero.
Woodman raised a portion of his initial capital by selling bead and shell belts for under US $20 from his VW van and, later, fashionable camera straps. He also received over $230,000 from his parents to invest in the business.
In 2004, the company sold its first camera system, which used 35 mm film. Digital still and video cameras were later introduced. As of 2014, a fixed-lens HD video camera with a wide 170-degree lens was available; two or more can be paired to create 360 video.
On June 4, 2014, the company announced the appointment of former Microsoft executive Tony Bates as President reporting directly to Woodman.
In January 2016, GoPro partnered with Periscope for live streaming.
After growing the number of employees by more than 500 in 2015, the company responded to weak sales in the fourth quarter by cutting about 7% of its workforce (100 workers) in January 2016.
In November 2016, the company announced it was laying off an additional 200 employees in an effort to reduce costs. The company also announced that President Tony Bates would be stepping down at the end of 2016. 270 more employees were laid off in March 2017, and 250 additional layoffs followed in January 2018, bringing the company's workforce to "just under 1,000"
At its peak, a share of GoPro was valued at $86, but on March 26, 2018, only $4.81.
Woodman worked on his first camera for two years after founding the company, eventually introducing the GoPro 35mm HERO in September 2004 at San Diego's Action Sports Retailer trade show. In its first year GoPro sold $150,000 worth of products. In 2006 the company introduced its first Digital HERO, with 10 second video capability, and generated $800,000 in revenue. The following year GoPro sales quadrupled to $3.4 million.
In 2014, the company was selling the HERO3+ in editions of different colors. It was capable of filming in 16:9 aspect ratio, supporting 4K UHD video and 12 MP still photographs. The HERO4 was introduced on 24 September 2014.
On September 28th 2017, GoPro released the Hero 6 camera, which claims improved stabilization over the Hero 5 models and is capable of capturing 4K video in 60 FPS.
On July 11, 2018, GoPro announced that it had sold more than 30 million HERO cameras since inception.
As of October 2014, GoPro sells three fixed-lens cameras, two without viewfinders and one including a touchscreen viewfinder. A 2-bit LCD on the front of the camera allows access to its menu system, which is controlled by the front and top shutter buttons. The HERO4 Black has dimensions of 41 mm ? 59 mm ? 30 mm and weighs 88 grams (152 grams with housing). Still images from 6 to 12 megapixels can be captured. The cameras are sold with a clear polycarbonate HD Housing with a glass lens that is rated shockproof and waterproof to 131 feet (40 m), with a quick-release buckle on the top and threads at the bottom to attach to all of the GoPro mounts. The housing has metal buttons that connect to the camera's controls and has a "skeleton" backdoor option to allow audio recording when the camera is used with a mount but without the need to be watertight or shockproof.
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