They are attached to helmets, handlebars, bikes, boats, skateboards and surfboards. One was even famously attached to a weather balloon that sent a toy robot 95,000 feet into space. They are small, lightweight, wearable, waterproof video cameras that are taking the world by storm, all because a surfer from the Bay Area envisioned a still-photo camera he could wear on his wrist to capture photos that “make you look like a pro.” But it was at a car racing school where inventor Nick Woodman came up with the idea for his wildly famous video camera. KGO-TV in San Francisco has the story:
Surfing spawned the idea for these first GoPro cameras originated in 2002.
They only took still photos and were mostly sold in surf shops, until Woodman went to a race car driving school.
“In racing school, they wanted to charge me a hundred bucks for a half hour to rent out a video camera,” Woodman told KGO. “I thought, that’s crazy, I’ll take my wrist camera and strap it to the roll bar.”
That’s when he realized the full benefits of a small video camera. So in 2007, he turned the photo camera into a video camera and sales took off; KGO reports GoPro is the fastest growing camera company in the world.
“It’s just so far beyond my initial vision for GoPro,” Woodman told KGO. “I mean, I just wanted to help surfers capture photos of themselves and their friends while they are surfing.”
Today, outdoor enthusiasts are using the small camera to capture just about everything imaginable.
“One of my favorite videos is from a teenager in the UK, “Woodman said. “He built a weather balloon with his dad and sent it into near space with a toy robot on it.”
That video on Vimeo epitomizes what this popular camera can do.