GoPro Adds Wireless Remote and Streaming to Hero Cameras

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Action camera maker GoPro has announced a new long distance wireless back for it’s popular GoPro Hero 2 camera.  The WiFi BackPac and Remote comes for a pretty good price, too – about $100.  But what does the BacPac give action junkies?  How about live video streaming online in real time?  But there’s more.

In addition to live video streaming to the Web, the BacPac and remote Wi-Fi Combo Kit enables live preview and playback on smartphones and tablets*, and even burst still image photography.  And the wireless remote offers full control of up to 50 cameras simultaneously from up to a range of  600 feet (WOW!).  That means a single extreme athlete can signal and control a bevy of cameras without any other support as they do their run from skate parks, snow board and skiing slopes, and even urban settings.

The Live View and playback feature can be used via GoPro’s soon to be released app for both iOS and Android Devices.  And using your phone’s hotspot capability, you can also transfer all footage wirelessly to your mobile device, which means you don’t have to swap out memory cards or connect to a PC in order to move your footage.   And you can also share your raw footage directly to friends and family via email or uploads to YouTube.

The BacPac combo kit comes with

  • Wi-Fi BacPac (with built-in Li-ion Battery)
  • Wi-Fi Remote (with built-in Li-ion Battery)
  • Remote Charging Cable
  • Remote Attachment Key
  • Remote Attachment Strap
  • Waterproof Backdoor
  • Non-waterproof Backdoor
  • 12” USB Charging Cable

The BacPac is compatible with current and previous Hero models, but only the wireless remote is supported in the original HD Hero camera.  It will not support wirless video streaming to the web or the live view capability on a mobile device.  But if you have a Hero 2, all you need is a firmware update from GoPro and you’re all set to just add the BacPac and start your trick footage via remote.

So, what does this mean for the filmmaker?  Well, this past January, ESPN used the GoPro alot for prerecorded runs by athletes to show a first person perspective of the sport.  With this new wireless capability, we can now enjoy a live video feed as the event happens from the same perspective.  Athletes can also create their own live TV channel online via uStream, Justin.TV, and even YouTube so go directly to their fans with live runs of practices, or even first person perspectives of the events they participate.  And the wireless capability also enables them to put the camera just about anywhere and trigger it when they want.

Now this isn’t the only wireless option for action cameras.  The Contour + Action camera can stream live through HDMI or by connection through a Teradek wireless  system.  But the GoPro BacPac gives a direct wireless stream via connection through a mobile device, giving it a leg up over Contour out in the field in our view.

We’re thinking that GoPro is on the right track with it’s new BacPac wireless combo kit and we can’t wait to see what athletes and sports broadcasters alike use this technology to show our favorite extreme sports.  If it’s anything like the video below, we’re in for some fantastic XGames coverage in the near future.

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.