On the last day of March, the United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded GoPro a patent on a camera housing for a square profiled camera (US Patent Number 8,992,102 – filed January 2014). Whether or not this turns out to be a real product remains to be seen, as no word yet from GoPro even after tech website re/code recently approached the company on the subject.
Polaroid released their line of tiny, colorful Cube cameras last year to great response–particularly on the price point ($99.99) even if the image quality is not as great as the basic GoPro Hero. Depending on how GoPro prices the alleged new square camera, could it be a Polaroid Cubekiller in the works? May be tough for them to match the Apple-esque fun factor of Polaroid, however.
The patent application describes a square camera housing that accommodates a square camera with a “substantially square profile.” The square camera housing includes a latching mechanism to secure the camera in the housing, a mounting mechanism, and multiple openings to accommodate the camera interface.
The square camera can be oriented within the housing in a number of ways, unlike current GoPro action cameras that basically fit one way inside their housings. This seems to be an important point in the patent–a housing that can accommodate a wide variety of orientations and camera positions attractive to outdoor users.
In the detailed description, the square camera includes a lens and a display. Additional camera features can be affixed to the exterior of the housing such as a microphone.
It looks like the square GoPro camera will connect with your smartphone to not only act as a display, but also to store captured images and video. The mounting mechanism allows the camera to be coupled to another object such as bodywear, sporting equipment of a vehicles–nothing surprising here.
Perhaps we will hear some concrete news from GoPro soon.