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New GoPro Patent Points to Smaller, Square Camera

No official product announced yet, but...

Action camera maker GoPro has obtained a patent for a cube-shaped “housing” to hold and give users access to a cube-shaped camera.

Thing is, GoPro doesn’t officially have a cube-shaped camera. Not yet, anyway.

The images from the USPTO filing, which was dated in January, show a small camera sliding into the housing, which would hold it in place while letting users reach all its buttons and attach it to a “mounting device.”

The company tells Re/code that its engineers began working on a square camera design in 2011, but declined to make any product announcements (okay, sure).

“GoPro files patents like these to protect our technology and intellectual property,” a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

A super-compact low-cost camera might broaden GoPro’s audience. Its current cheapest camera, the GoPro Hero, costs $129 and has an integrated housing. More recent and expensive cameras, like the $499 Hero 4, can work inside or outside of an included housing, but are more rectangular than the square device seen in the patent filing.

Polaroid recently unveiled a $100 square GoPro competitor, the Polaroid Cube. Re/code’s Bonnie Cha was impressed by the form factor, but found its interface and image quality lacking compared to the cheapest Hero.

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