With a GoPro IPO on the horizon, it's safe to say that what started as something that extreme sports fanatics took advantage of is about to becoming a mainstream hit. In a lot of ways, the tiny action camera already is. Now, the BMW Group's Technology Office has partnered with GoPro to build the first-ever in-car integration between GoPro and an automobile. Cars equipped with BMW Apps or Mini Connected platforms will be able to configure and control a GoPro. Starting in July 2014, the integration will be functional on all model year 2012 and later BMW Group vehicles equipped with the BMW Apps or MINI Connected option, when used with a Wi-Fi-equipped GoPro camera.
The two have worked hard to curb driver distraction, yet enable drivers to strap a camera on and capture adrenaline-filled footage at the track. In addition to aiming the camera using BMW’s large central screen, users may quickly choose between six pre-set camera modes: Leisure Drive Facing Out, Night Driving, Sport Drive Facing Out, Drive Camera Facing In, Winding Road Time-lapse, and Straight Road Time-lapse. The camera’s RECORD function may be started and stopped by the driver at will, and vital camera status indicators are displayed, including recording elapsed time, battery life, and Wi-Fi signal strength. The user may also toggle the camera’s SLEEP mode to prolong battery life between shots.
It's a bold step, but also a foreshadowing of the future. For years, in-car infotainment systems have been woefully behind the times, and now it appears that automakers are finally catching up with what smartphones have delivered for some time. Now, it's GoPro -- next up, drones?