Let's be honest here, GoPro pretty much owns the action camera scene with its super popular line of Hero cameras. That being the case, what's a company to do that doesn't see much competition? One option is to rest on its laurels, though a better idea is to buckle down and keep innovating. It looks as though GoPro has chosen the latter, as a newly granted patent shows the company tinkering with a compact square camera.
In the patent, GoPro describes the housing as being of substantially equal length on all sides. It’s a little cube, in other words, that can be secured in several different orientations. To accommodate for that, there are openings on three sides, all providing users with access to ports no matter how the camera is ultimately oriented.
In the filing, GoPro talks about the different types of "high-intensity activities" its cameras as used for, such as snowboarding, surfing, biking, and stock car racing. There already exist camera housings that hold cameras steady for hands-free operation, though they're usually bound by a single orientation.
"Limited camera housing options make camera housings that can accommodate a wide variety of camera positions and orientations attractive to potential users. Furthermore, a camera housing that can easily secure and release a camera can beneficially improve a user's experience with the camera," GoPro states in the filing.
GoPro insists that no new product announcements are imminent, though the company did tell Engadget that its engineers have been working on a square design since 2011. The patent filing protects the the casing for whatever cube-shaped products that might come from those designs.
Depending on the size of the cube, it will be interesting to see if GoPro can maintain the same high quality as its current (and bigger) Hero4 cameras provide, assuming a compact cube-like camera comes to fruition.