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Be a Hero in your Bimmer: GoPro teams with BMW

Sections: Aftermarket, Infotainment, Installations, Telematics

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BMW with GoPro app

A BMW infotainment system integrates with a GoPro camera via the GoPro app and your smartphone. (Image courtesy BMW)

If you went to your typical BMW dealership on Father’s day, you’d probably see a lot of shopping for X5s and 3-Series with automatic transmissions. But, for the few, the proud, there will be some track action for those M buyers.

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 the iDrive controller and high-resolution screen. Starting in July, 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 wifi-equipped GoPro camera. The updated GoPro App is now available for free in the iTunes Store.

Phil Johnston, head of BMW Group AppCenter USA said, “Working with GoPro to design this integration was remarkable. ‘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 Director of Strategic Product Opportunities Adam Silver said, “GoPro has deep roots in motorsports and is passionate about enabling drivers to capture their road or track experience. 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.”

Video editing isn’t something I really like to get into, but the user has the choice of six preset camera modes on-the-fly: 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 wifi signal strength. The user also may toggle the camera’s sleep mode to prolong battery life during pit breaks. Your gymkhana YouTube vid will make you a hero on Monday morning!

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 wifi-equipped GoPro camera (HERO3+ and later) communicates with the GoPro App installed on the driver’siPhone 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.

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