Third-party manufacturers love to develop new mounts, lenses, and other accessories for the GoPro action camera. But very few products actually integrate with the GoPro software. Now, GoPro is launching the Open GoPro API, allowing anyone to develop new apps for the camera or create new accessories that take full advantage of the GoPro’s capabilities.
In practice, this means that a sports company like Garmin or Wahoo can integrate GoPro controls in their bike computers. But because the API is open source, we’ll also see a lot of community-made tools for the GoPro, like a Linux app that can turn a GoPro into a wireless webcam.
GoPro is taking baby steps with its open-source API, so there are still a lot of features missing, such as video feed streaming (so don’t get too excited about my wireless webcam idea). Also, the open API only works with the GoPro HERO9, and we don’t really know how (or if) GoPro plans to extend the feature to older cameras.
At the time of writing, here are the features available in the Open GoPro API:
- Wireless Connectivity: Bluetooth or Wi-Fi allows your GoPro to connect with other devices and accessories. You can also use this to wirelessly transfer files.
- Camera Status: So you can check battery life, whether the LCD is on or off, if the GoPro is overheating, etc.
- Camera Command and Control: Capture video or photos, change settings, etc.
- Preview: This feature may allow the GoPro to connect to external screens for image or video previews, though this isn’t clear in GoPro’s documents.
- SD Card Access: You can manage or transfer files saved on the GoPro’s SD card.