BMW and Mini getting GoPro integrationFri, 13 Jun 2014 13:29:00 EST
The small, high-quality and relatively inexpensive GoPro camera has been revolutionary for Internet video, especially of cars. Imagine how much awesomeness and hilarity we would have missed without them. Finding ways to integrate the cams into performance cars is becoming increasingly popular among automakers, as well. For example, the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette has its Performance Data Recorder, and Volkswagen is giving GoPros to early buyers of the 2015 GTI. BMW Group is going straight to the source for its rendition, though, with a new app that allows drivers to control a GoPro from inside of some BMW and Mini vehicles.
In July, owners with 2012 or later models equipped with BMW Apps or Mini Connected can download the new app. There are a few hurdles to jump over, though. Not only do users need a model with the infotainment system, a WiFi-equipped GoPro camera is also required. The app also must be installed on an iPhone connected to the vehicle.
Once all of those stipulations are met, the app can configure and control the GoPro through iDrive and display a nearly live image on the infotainment system. Menus are simplified on-screen but still allow users to select among six camera modes, aim it and start and stop recording. While filming, it shows recording time, battery life and signal strength. While BMW's approach isn't quite as nicely integrated as the Corvette's solution, it's interesting to see automakers working to make filming easier. Scroll down to read the full announcement.
BMW GROUP TECHNOLOGY OFFICE AND GOPRO CREATE FIRST AUTOMOTIVE SPORTS CAMERA INTEGRATION
12/06/14 from BMW Group
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – June 12, 2014 11:30AM EDT / 8:30AM PDT . . . The BMW Group Technology Office and GoPro have announced the first-ever, mass-produced integration of a GoPro camera with an automobile's on board infotainment system. In BMW Group vehicles equipped with the BMW Apps or MINI Connected option, a GoPro camera may now be configured and controlled using BMW's state-of-the-art iDrive controller and high-resolution screen. 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 updated GoPro App is now available for free in the iTunes Store (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gopro-app/id561350520).
"Working with GoPro to design this integration was remarkable," said Phil Johnston, Head of BMW Group AppCenter USA. "'Creative' and 'insightful' just begin to describe the experience. GoPro is a natural fit for BMW enthusiast drivers. The power and flexibility of the BMW Group App Integration Platform coupled with GoPro's advanced camera technology brings new, safe, and engaging experiences to the enthusiasts that were previously not possible. When the camera is connected to the car, it allows GoPro's app to present context-appropriate presets that allow the enthusiast to capture the perfect shot."
"GoPro has deep roots in motorsports and is passionate about enabling drivers to capture their road or track experience," said Adam Silver, GoPro Director of Strategic Product Opportunities. "The GoPro and BMW collaboration sets a new standard in the category and is an important first step in a partnership designed to deliver next-level integration between camera and car."
This groundbreaking integration is designed specifically to reduce driver distraction and enhance the capabilities for which "The Ultimate Driving Machine®" and GoPro, one of the world's most versatile cameras, are famous. 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.
How it works.
First, the user's BMW or MINI vehicle must be equipped with the BMW Apps or MINI Connected option, respectively. Next, the user's Wi-Fi-equipped GoPro camera (HERO3+ and later) communicates with the GoPro App installed on the driver's iPhone 4 or later, which must be connected to the vehicle either through the iPhone USB cable or the BMW Accessory snap-in adaptor for iPhone. The driver will access the App through the BMW ConnectedDrive or MINI Connected menu, which is displayed on the large, trans-reflective central screen (up to 10.2 inches, depending on model).
The BMW Group Technology Office and GoPro designed the on-board operating menu to streamline the camera's operation and take full advantage of the integrated environment. Menu choices appear to the left of the screen, and the camera's actual field of view is displayed in near real-time while the vehicle is stationary.
GoPro's versatile cameras and accessories enable people to self-capture immersive and engaging footage of themselves enjoying their favorite activities. From extreme to mainstream, GoPro's HERO® line of wearable and gear-mountable capture devices are transforming the way consumers, professional athletes, and video production professionals capture, manage and share meaningful photo and video content. Based in San Mateo, California, GoPro's products are sold through more than 25,000 stores in over 100 countries worldwide and direct via GoPro.com. GoPro branded content is shared and enjoyed by millions of people on popular media channels such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and YouTube.
GOPRO® and HERO® are trademarks or registered trademarks of GoPro, Inc. in the United States and other countries.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 and X4 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 120 MINI passenger car dealers, and 35 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
The BMW Group
The BMW Group is the leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles in the world with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 28 production and assembly facilities in 13 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.
In 2012, the BMW Group sold about 1.85 million cars and more than 117,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2012 was euro 7.82 billion on revenues amounting to euro 76.85 billion. At 31 December 2012, the BMW Group had a workforce of 105,876 employees.
The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy. As a result of its efforts, the BMW Group has been ranked industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the last eight years.
By Chris Bruce
See also: BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe gets Bang & Olufsen Individual edition [w/video], Lexus back in luxury sales race after three-year absence, BMW offers xDrive on 2015 2 Series.