GoPro teams with developers to spur camera sales

A GoPro Hero 4 camera is displayed at the 2015 International CES on January 6, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada
A GoPro Hero 4 camera is displayed at the 2015 International CES on January 6, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada

GoPro on Thursday announced it is teaming up with outside developers to make it easy to use the company's mini cameras with apps or synch them with other devices.

The effort to make GoPro products more versatile and, ideally, more tempting to buyers was revealed a day after the California-based company announced that it hired away an Apple veteran to become vice president of the GoPro design team.

A GoPro Developer Program publicly launched at an event in San Francisco has been underway quietly for more than a year, according to the company.

"The GoPro Developer Program is a way for us to celebrate the innovative work of our developer community and more importantly, help enable what comes next," said GoPro co-founder and chief executive Nick Woodman.

"We're grateful to benefit from the collective genius of the participating developers and we're excited to now officially support their efforts with our developer toolkits."

As of launch, 100 companies including BMW, Fisher-Price, and Telefonica had partnered with GoPro in the developers program.

Technology industry titans including Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft have long courted outside developers whose innovations can make products or services more hip, fun, or functional.

Woodman said he hoped enlisting outside developers would make GoPro cameras "even more versatile, and more importantly, become even more relevant in the lives of customers we share."

GoPro also announced a "Works with GoPro" program that provides a way for products to be verified as working with the company's offerings.

GoPro shares took a hit after it reported quarterly earnings in February that were worse than the market's already dismal expectations but regained a little ground on Wednesday on news of the hire of Daniel Coster, who worked on product design at Apple for some 20 years.

The company said it lost about $34.5 million during the holiday season quarter that ended last year, as revenue sank some 31 percent to $436.6 million when compared to the same three-month period in 2014.

GoPro became an early hit with extreme sports enthusiasts who used the mini-cameras to film their exploits, and went on to win over teens and young adults interested in sharing videos on YouTube and social networks.

The company went public in June 2014 with shares initially priced at $24 that soared in subsequent months, more than tripling in value at one point.

But investors began to worry about the 's growth prospects and the possible saturation of an increasingly competitive market.

GoPro went into a prolonged slide last year.

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© 2016 AFP

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